Today, I’m launching my weekly series called “Breaking Down Walls.” I’m really passionate about changing perspectives and making people stop and think. I truly despise the walls that we, as a society, build up around and against each other; stereotypes and prejudice are hurtful and should be eradicated in my humble opinion. A true but sad fact of life is that we’ve learned, from a very early age, to build up such walls. I hope I can penetrate some of these walls by bringing light to such situations. I hope this series will help me to process why these walls exist and open up your mind as you follow my blog posts.
I stopped into one of my favorite coffee shops this morning, and I had Mr. Bates with me. A woman with the initials CCG came into the shop with her doggie, and the two doggies immediately started checking each other out. I ended up randomly sitting down to chat with this stranger. CCG works in the same building as the coffee shop and my former place of employment; it turns out that she works for an entertainment representation agency. I told her that I, too, had worked in entertainment for a while, and we talked about how there is a glaring lack of diversity in this crazy business. She told me that she’s a 7th generation Mexican-American. Awesome. Mind-blowing. I find it fascinating to see that type of lineage in Los Angeles where there is a constant turnover of immigrants year after year. Even transplants from other states are technically “immigrants” in this town if you think about it.
Anyway, meeting this stranger was like breaking down a wall. Being a person of color in entertainment is breaking down a wall. Why is there such a lack of diversity onscreen and offscreen? It’s very discouraging to see and have firsthand experience with the intensely tight grip on the entertainment business by white, Jewish men. Sad to say, but you know it’s true. Something that CCG pointed out really struck me: these walls cannot be broken because these people won’t let them be broken. So what’s the solution? How are we going to break down these walls? Think about what you see on television and on movies and in the credits…where is the diversity?