… for Random Weirdness

Tip #1439: The Importance of Diversity

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

A film set is a microcosm of the world. We need to make it better.

Image courtesy Bruno Massao, Pexels.com.

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Tanya Jones is an executive producer, writer, director and creator. She is also Black. She’s written an excellent essay about the challenges of diversity on a film set that first appeared in PremiumBeat.com. This isn’t a summary – its a strong push for you to read her thoughts. There’s a lot each of us can do to make our industry better.

Tanya writes:

A film set is a microcosm of the world, in all its beauty and harshness. What I’ve learned the hard way about white males in production—the allies and co-conspirators.

I am a Black woman (sigh . . . my heart fills with pride when I type that), award-winning executive producer, writer, director, creator. My résumé spans over twenty years in production, and I’ve done well as a leader. Today, when I walk on set, I’m the one in charge. But, I could’ve done better, faster.

We all know the facts but here they are again, a hard slap in the face: “Among women who hold full-time, year-round jobs in the United States, Black women are typically paid 63 cents, Native American women 60 cents, and Latinas just 55 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men,” according to a September 2020 report from the National Partnership for Women and Families.

I could choose to stew in a simmering mess of resentment and anger but I’d never thrive there. I know myself well, and I know I do well in partnership, in co-creation. Some of my best relationships in this industry are with white men. Men who work with me, work for me, hire me, recommend me, inspire me, and see me for me. With these white men, I’ve co-produced a beautiful story where respect and a level playing field are the true starring roles.

Read the entire essay here – there’s room for growth… and hope.


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