A white person could write a great character of color, and a man can write a great female character — but ability doesn’t equal intent and execution. Matt Reeves recently exemplified this problem. When Dawn of the Planet of the Apes came out, some noted that the film had exactly two female characters — neither of whom had much screen-time or value in the narrative. It wasn’t on purpose; when asked, Reeves said, “Gosh, I don’t know…it’s sort of a shame that, as you say, that’s sort of true.”
Like many habitual problems, this comes down to close-mindedness: if no one forces the creative to think outside the box or explain themselves, the practice will continue unchecked. It’s one of the best arguments for the value of diverse creatives — to break out of the habits that unintentionally create women-free or white worlds, reductive characterizations, or Bechdel-failing narratives.
Hollywood also has to be willing to retain diversity when it is present. As Ursula K. Le Guin wrote when her Earthsea was whitewashed: “With all freedom comes responsibility.”
Girls on Film: 5 things that need to happen before Hollywood will ever truly change (via elloellenoh)
(Source: tubooks, via elloellenoh)