The Prowler

Film industry cast diversity gives all children role models

Lauren Hansen, Editor-in-Chief

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Many people will argue about the lack of diversity in the film industry. Remember the 2016 Oscars? This event had unquestionable controversy because for the second year in a row all lead and supporting actor nominations were white.

This problem was adjusted slightly in 2017 when seven non- white actors were nominated (six of whom were black). This put one in every category. Also, nine documentaries on non-white topics were nominated.

Still, there was a distinct lack of diversity as many minorities- such as Latinos and Asians- were still excluded. Also, woman were nominated for very few non-acting categories.

The nominations for 2018, while still missing some minorities, were following the diversity trend with the inclusion of actresses Mary J. Blige and Octavia Spencer and actors Daniel Kaluuya and Denzel Washington.

Diversity is important for people to see, especially children. That’s why it is disappointing to look at Disney’s princess lineup and see a predominately white cast. The only diverse characters are Pocahontas, Jasmine, Mulan, Tiana, Moana and Kida.

The same can be said for superhero films. Marvel only includes one major black hero: Black Panther. Falcon was a welcome change, but he is only a supporting role. Since he didn’t get his own film, and wasn’t a part of the original avengers team, it’s difficult to call him a major hero.

Additionally, it just has one female hero/assassin (Black Widow). However, Marvel does include many other strong non-hero female leads.

DC has the same problem as its diversity is also limited to one black hero (Cyborg) and one female (Wonder Woman).

Several minorities should be included in these films. Women, Latinos, Asian, Indian and other non-white groups are severely underrepresented in movies and the industry in general.

Still, there have been efforts by both companies to emphasize these characters. Making over $821 million worldwide, “Wonder Woman” was a huge cinematic success in 2017. It was the first superhero film starring a female lead to reach such high critic and fan esteem.

Furthermore, though it wasn’t as successful, it was nice that “Justice League” included an African American actor by using Cyborg instead of Green Lantern.

The release of Marvel’s “Black Panther” has been a massive cinematic and financial success. More important, it is an important milestone for all the children in America.

The success of “Wonder Woman” and “Black Panther” has opened the door for other minorities to gain leads in these companies and movies in general.

The Disney princesses and superheroes are meant to be the physical representation that people can do anything. However, when children fail to see characters that look like them, the message falls flat.

Differences aren’t bad. In fact, they should be celebrated. That is the lesson kids need, and the only way they can learn it is if they see it. The film industry must hire more minority leads.

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Film industry cast diversity gives all children role models