Hollywood lacks diversity

Viola Davis became the first black woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama for her performance in “How To Get Away With Murder” this past Sunday, but it should not have taken this long for a woman of color to have won this prestigious award.

The Emmys premiered in 1949, and in 67 years, only four black women have been nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama.

“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there,” Davis said in her speech, following a quote from Harriet Tubman.

Davis reserved every right to speak on the lack of racial diversity in Hollywood because there are hardly any roles for women of color. Women of color are often portrayed as second-class characters or are sexualized in media. Hardly ever do we see people of color play three-dimensional characters with substance.

How will young children of color be reassured their racial background is valid and important if all we see is white people taking on the majority of leading roles in Hollywood?

It is petty and shameful how only a few people of color are seen in entertainment. When we fail to see any people of color play leading roles that matter, we reinforce the idea that people of color are second-class citizens who only equate to their second-class roles as servers, “the help” and fetishized beings who can not go beyond those stereotypes.

Hollywood needs to reflect on itself and see how the lack of racial diversity can be harmful. There needs to be steps taken to include more people of color on the silver screen as characters with just as much ambition as white characters. While Davis’ win should be celebrated, Hollywood is still far from welcoming diversity.

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