Ava DuVernay says to stop using the word 'Diversity'
January 26, 2016 at 4:34 am
At the Sundance Film Festival luncheon this past Sunday, director Ava DuVernay had a word on her spirit about diversity. This event was a celebration of ARRAY, her independent film company, which supports filmmakers of color in the industry. In her speech, addressing the congregation of industry professionals, DuVernay said, “We’re hearing a lot about diversity. I hate that word so, so much…[diversity] is a medicinal word that has no emotional resonance, and this is a really emotional issue.” She said that better words to use in place of diversity are inclusion, or belonging.
There’s no secret in our community about the fact that inclusion is not the default setting in Hollywood. #OscarsSoWhite does not exist for the sake of Twitter humor. There is work to be done in terms of the representation and celebration of people of color in this space, now more than ever.
In her conclusion, Ava left these words with her guests, “There’s a belonging problem in Hollywood. Who dictates who belongs? The very body who dictates that looks all one way… Change has to happen, it has to happen with the people who dictate who belongs. It’s disconcerting to hear people say that shouldn’t change. That’s the very reason it should.”
Shonda Rhimes agrees that this is the time for change. What do you think?