“Forced diversity” my ass.
Black people, last time I checked, made up something like 17% of the US population. Non-hispanic white people make up around 62%. Then you’ve got Latinos, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, SE Asians, Middle Easterners, and on and on. And around half the population is female.
Oh and as long as we’re on the topic of sex/gender, it may surprise anyone raised on American network TV to discover that trans and non-binary people, and gay and bi and asexual and pan and demi people exist in real life. And so do mentally ill and physically disabled people. The list goes on, and I know I left some people out, but that there are too many under-represented groups to list just serves to illustrate my point.
Just to BEGIN to represent the real life diversity of the US, around half of all lead characters would need to be women, and Only about six out of ten would be non-hispanic white people. That’s just looking at a couple of demographics, and we don’t even meet that standard.
I mean, we’re getting (slowly) closer, but each step closer to the kind of diversity in movies and TV that would represent real life is met with screams and tantrums from self-entitled cishet white male pissbabies who hate the idea of anyone other than their demographic being represented.
Oh, you have trouble identifying with people unlike yourself? Well you’ve been expecting everyone to identify with leads from your demographic, so all your ranting just tells me that you are lazier, and have less empathy and imagination than those other groups.
Hell, I’m a cishet white-passing male, and an older one at that, and while I of course enjoy seeing people like me on the screen, I am sick to fucking death of seeing MOSTLY people like me as leads. And while obviously the primary injustice is that towards under-represented populations, I’ve got to admit that, hell, I’m also insulted that so many studio executives don’t think I can identify sufficiently with people who have a different skin color or gender or orientation or background to my own. Minorities are denied representation, and what Hollywood has decided upon as the “default” audience is discouraged from the increased empathy and understanding of others that we must develop if we want to be a part of this increasingly diverse and beautiful world moving foreward.
We don’t have a problem with forced diversity; our problem is one of forced homogeneity. And that so many from my own demographic would rather rail against fair and diverse representation in media, and feel threatened by the idea of not always being the center of the universe, just goes to further show how big a negative effect this forced homogeneity has, and how badly it needs to change.
Because if you cannot identify with those unlike yourself when they are presented sympathetically in a work of fiction, you will not have empathy with them in real life.