Representation in Hollywood Shows and Films

Image via IEEE Spectrum

Diversity in Hollywood has been a controversial topic for quite some time now. While many people argue that diversity does not make a big difference in TV and movies, others argue that representation is vastly important. I agree that a cast full of different races, body types, sexualities, mental illnesses, and disabilities help portray and normalize a broad range of groups that need representation in the media that so much of the world readily consumes, especially children.

Growing up, many people feel as if they are outcasts or cannot relate to others due to the lack of representation in what they are watching, as well as feeling misrepresented if the show or movie depicts the character they are relating to in an exaggerated or non-realistic sense. If diversity were more common in the shows and movies that I had been watching while growing up, I might have not felt disgusted with myself for being a brown girl instead of a tall, skinny, blonde, white girl, and I know that countless others have felt the same way as I did as a child. Including diversity in Hollywood means more people accepting and being proud of who they are.

As society progresses, people have been calling for more diversity in Hollywood in order to illustrate the world in a more realistic sense. Diversity does not just mean having one black and one white main character, but also having transgender actors play transgender characters, rather than cisgender actors; this debate is caused by the idea that someone who has never experienced the prejudice that a minority group does will not be able to depict a minority character as accurately as someone who lives that life daily.

The outcry for inclusion in Hollywood by the general public has definitely made an impact on new shows and films as we are starting to see so much more distinctiveness in Hollywood. Examples include this year’s bachelor in The Bachelor being the first black bachelor in history, and Euphoria representing a variety of diverse characters ranging from their race to mental illness to drug addiction. I believe that as months and years go on, the majority of Hollywood features will be inclusive and that this is an enormous step in the right direction.