Non-Diverse Casting Also Fails in Hollywood | Opinion

The following is a lightly edited transcript of remarks made by Kristal Knight during a Newsweek episode of The Debate about racial diversity in Hollywood. You can listen to the podcast here:

I don't have all the perfect answers, but what I do know is it's okay to fail. And these major movie houses have had plenty of flops, and they have bounced back.

So when Black movies fail, or minority movies fail, why is it such a harder thing on those actors and producers? If you're in this industry, you know that [your work] is going to either sink or swim or it'll float — even if it doesn't do the numbers that you thought it would do. You're still introducing people to a new concept of what it looks like to be a person of color, or a white woman, or a black man, or whoever in a different role in society. Even if it's sci fi or even if it's make-believe. So I think if we truly care about creativity, not all creativity is successful. But it doesn't mean that the intended purpose and why it was created was not a win. So I'm okay with movies failing and flopping, because you know what? There are people who really love some of the worst movies that have ever been produced.

Actors, directors, producers and others have spoken out against Hollywood's lack of diversity since the Oscar nominations were announced. Reuters

And there are people who look like me, sound like me, who don't want to hear white stories. And there are white folks who don't want to hear an Asian story or a Black story or an LGBTQ story. But [it's wrong to suggest] it's as if it's exclusive — like, if you're black, you only want to hear about black stories. Well, if you're like me, you love The Crown. Really insightful, I learned a lot. I used to also live in London, so maybe I have a different perspective about wanting to hear about that history and learn more about it.

It's not good enough to just say, oh, you know, it's a white show. You can't tell me that in 2022.

Kristal Knight is a political commentator and a regular on The Debate at Newsweek.

The views and opinions are the writers own.