White Males & The Entertainment Business

 

The Entertainment Industry

First and foremost, the entertainment business is an incredible industry that allows artists to explore their passions and create art. The Industry is what relays our News, and gives us an outlet on a stressful day, and makes us laugh; however, there are some parts of the industry that need to be examined and changed. Most recently the major studios have been under a microscope with the Equal Employment Opportunity commission regarding the lack of diversity in Film & TV Directors. Out of the highest grossing films in the last year, only 7% have been directed by females, and that has led to criticism thought the industry. The issue goes deeper than that, and the pay discrepancy between male actors and female actors is almost 50%, Depending on the statistic you look at. Last year, the top male actor made 80 million dollars, and the top female actor only made 45 million dollars, however a lot of variable go into that, depending on how many films were worked, endorsements and others, but the issue is still an ongoing concern. Another issue is the lack of diversity in top earning films. Top grossing films have had mainly white male actors, and that’s been an issue for decades. In a world of diversity, and in an industry with a reach across the world, there needs to be diversity in films that have a global footprint.

The cause for the lack of diversity  

How did the industry become one of the least diverse industries in the world, while criticizing the lack of diversity throughout the world?… Its Business. The top studios which distribute the films, and finance the films are primarily looking at return on their investment. When a film has a large budget, and it needs to make a return on that investment, the executives are looking at actors which have the largest star power, which can bring an audience to the theater. That’s the part of the business which has created a lack of diversity. There are so many films that are distributed with big budgets, and unfortunately, there’s not enough diversity in the top tier of actors. Why is that? Many of the actor’s careers are created by talent agents who find these independent actors and turn them into stars. On the flip side, to be noticed by the powerful talent agents, actors need to work hard. When it comes to talent managers, there needs to be a focus on looking for diverse talent and working with the studios to get the actor into big budget films. The part of the business that some don’t like, is the majority of the American audience watches big budget studio films which are distributed into the theater, and that what the industry bases their talent hiring on.

Where is the industry today?

One of the best autobiographical and revealing TV show, and Movie is – Entourage. This entertainment medium is meant to attract people to the industry and how it works, all while being entertaining. The main characters are white males, and the main center piece is a fast talking, hard working talent manager trying to make his client rich and famous. The women portrayed in the TV show and movie are portrayed as ditzy, southern California model stereotype, which is damaging to the image of women in society. All the main characters, and the majority of on-screen cast, is white, and male; from the studio executives, to the talent managers, to the friends, and people at the parties, the image portrayed has little diversity.  This is what the industry is working on fixing, but still has a ways to go. This production has gained a lot of scrutiny in the past based on its depiction, but when it comes to the interworking of Hollywood and the entertainment business, it bears some fruit.

Has the industry really changed over time?

Where has the progress in the industry been made, with movies such as Café Society its seems as if things are moving slowly. This movie is about the early 1900’s Hollywood, and the industry itself. It portrays a cut-throat industry where people need to look attractive to other people and schmooze with the ones who are decision makers.  This is in terms of the studio executives, the talent manager, and even the actors themselves. The issue with this film, and what it depicts is the fact the industry hasn’t drastically changed since then. There is still a diversity issue in the industry, and it’s been present for a long time. The industry for decades has been about ones’ prestige, their image to the world, and their star power, however, the film is a showcase of the industry and what it has become. With images of Hollywood already tailored, this movie depicts how they were created, and how they still stand today.

There’s still hope for change!

There is hope in the industry, and it will continue to become more diverse as time moves on. I believe that the world, the industry, and the American people want to see a more diverse entertainment industry. Because we all consume entertainment in one way or another, it’s very important that the industry changes. With the advancement of streaming and internet services, this has changed the diversity spectrum drastically. With new studios joining the market, such as Amazon Studios, Netflix, Hulu, and others, there are more chances, and opportunities for actor, directors, and other to get involved in projects and changed our perspective on the industry today. Another great point is the outcry from people within the industry, such as actors, directors, and others. This is where the change needs to happen and where it must begin. It needs to change from within as well as from the outside in.

What I learned.

There’s a lot I took away from this, and some is good, some is bad, but in the end, I feel hopeful for the industry. Entertainment is an incredible beast, its mean, it’s nice, it passionate, its rigorous, but it will always bring light to a subject the world needs to hear. With the industry becoming more diverse and changing every day, the content will only get better. The issue of consolidated media has changed due to the internet, and that has caused an explosion in diversity, this is what the industry needs and it will continue to grow in that direction. I’ve learned that people want to make a change about it, and they are willing to speak up about it, which is why the industry will change. Especially when more diverse artists are cast for films and TV shows, that’s the type of management we need, and thats where the change will happen.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the industry is changing, but it still stuck in its old ways. With entertainment industry growing, changing, and even becoming easily accessible by the world, it will change and it will change for the better. The entertainment industry is a staple of American freedom, free speech, and the American spirit, and the industry is recognizing that, and it will continue to be a beacon for the rest of the world. In terms of the business, the way business is conducted needs to change. From the studio executives, to the financiers, talent agents, and media owners, the business will change as long as they’re willing to change, and with the outcry from people all around the industry to the audiences who watch the entertainment, it’s a matter of time until things get better.

 

Work Cited:

 

McGregor, Jena. “Analysis | Hollywood’s diversity problem looks a little better after the Oscars. But it still has a long way to go.” The Washington Post. WP Company, 27 Feb. 2017. Web. 14 Mar. 2017.

 

Deggans, Eric. “Hollywood Has A Major Diversity Problem, USC Study Finds.” NPR. NPR, 22 Feb. 2016. Web. 14 Mar. 2017.

 

Yahr, Emily. “Everyone Hates ‘Entourage’ Now. When Did the World Turn on the Hit Show?” The Washington Post. WP Company, 03 June 2015. Web. 14 Mar. 2017.

 

UNST 254A Class Lecture & Readings.

 

 

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One thought on “White Males & The Entertainment Business

  1. Dirks,
    I enjoyed your post! I thought your take on why the entertainment industry lacks diversity was really interesting. You said that it was just business, and that film makers are simply looking for a return on their investment by bringing the biggest audience to the theater. I never thought of it that way. I think many people would argue that the industry is not diverse because of other discriminatory factors, but I like your take on it. Great job!

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