Racism in the Entertainment Industry
Racism seems to be running rampant in the Entertainment industry. African-American actors find it difficult finding quality roles with equal pay. According to the British-Zimbabwean actress Thandie Newton, she told the Belfast Telegraph that “the industry is two-faced, with double standards and is overflowing with racism.”
In the film industry, Tyler Perry has faced lots of criticism for his films and its stereotypical roles, yet, his film Temptation has grossed over 21.6 million opening weekend, and overall his films has grossed over 630 million world-wide. Why has he been so successful? According to Huffington Post, Hollywood has made it possible for Perry to pull from a pool of great black talent, due Hollywood’s soft racism and the lack of quality roles and equal pay as their white counterparts.
On the positive side, Tyler’s success has created opportunities not only for actors, but for behind the scenes crew positions as well. For years Hollywood kept up the existing state of affairs by maintaining the idea that black films do not have international value, and that’s why they feel that they can pay black actors less money.
According to Cuba Gooding Jr., he mentioned how George Lucas used Tyler Perry as an example of how black directors can force Hollywood to take notice. However, Perry still has to fight an uphill battle finding advertisers and distributors. Michael Jackson appeared at Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network headquarters in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood and told the crowd that the music industry cheated and stole from artists, especially black artists and specifically targeted “Tommy Mottola, saying that he is mean, a racist, and he’s very, very, very devilish.”
Lorenzo Marc Williams, writer, director, playwright and journalist, straight out of the “A” by way of Rochester N.Y. Williams is making his mark in the Atlanta area. He explains how his love of writing goes all the way back to his elementary school years as a skilled creative writer with a colorful imagination. He says “as he grew, his writing grew, and he never put the pen down.” Williams’s creative thinking eventually evolved and developed his writing ability into poetry.
Not long after, he began furthering his career as a writer, playwright and journalist. As an up & coming playwright, Williams has experienced his fair share of racism, particularly from the media. He found that getting media coverage has become a real challenge due to having a black production. He also understands that having a black production that’s not of five star statuses is why he faces the obstacle of gaining support for advertisement and media exposure. However, that has not stopped Williams from moving forward. With the will to keep going like so many other struggling African-American talents, Williams understand that there’s more than one way to skin a cat and being a man of strength & conviction, he uses ingenuity to kick in the back door to create his own lot in life.
Leonard Beaty, another one of Atlanta’s own. Beaty is a native of Rochester N.Y., and a self-taught full-time keyboard player with 20yrs experience under his belt. Beaty is a successful musician who’s making a name for himself in the Atlanta area and on the music scene. Playing the keyboards have been a long time passion of his since the age of five. Beaty has found major success since being in Atlanta and has toured the world and worked with several major gospel and R&B acts. Whether locally or on the road traveling, Beaty states that he has not experienced racism personally, but has seen it and knows that it exists. However, he also says “that the bulk of his opposition comes mostly from his own people.” Beaty’s goal is “to make an impact on the lives of young children through music.”
And what about the Job Market?
In today’s world not much has changed when it comes to racism, like the old saying goes, the more things change, the more they remain the same. According to Newsone for Black America, they state that in today’s job market, the unemployment rate fell 7.5 percent, but has remained at 13.2 percent for African-Americans. Not to mention the fact that due to the Sequestrations role in budget cuts limitations, reports indicates that nearly 11,000 workers across the board including federal, state and local government workers are feeling the job loss of black unemployment, which continues to be nearly double the national average.
Is it Racism or Favoritism? You do the Math
According to Nancy DiTomaso, a professor and vice dean for faculty research and professor of management and global business at Rutgers Business School of Newark and New Brunswick. Also the author of the book “The American Non-Dilemma: Racial Inequality Without Racism.” The book claims that we put too much of our focus on racial inequalities and unfairness of the black race by the white race, rather than putting our attention on the fact that the real act of racial inequality is characterized by whites doing good things for other whites, which can be looked at as favoritism. Can whites hiring whites be called racial discrimination or favoritism? Can it be the old adage “It’s not what you know, but who you know”?