FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Latino, African American, Asian American and Native American Groups Condemn Offensive Deadline ArticleLOS ANGELES, March 25, 2015 — Today a national multi-ethnic coalition denounced Deadline for its March 24 article on Hollywood diversity by editor Nellie Andreeva. The article paints a picture of so-called “reverse discrimination” in an industry in which people of color — who make up nearly 40% of the U.S. population — have been vastly underrepresented and caricatured since its inception to the present day. The article calls for color-blind casting, claiming that there are not enough talented people of color to fill roles and that requests for diverse talent from studios and networks cause less qualified people of color to take roles away from better qualified white actors. The article also inaccurately suggests that networks and studios have diversity quotas. A recent report from the UCLA Ralph J. Bunche Center found that although people of color made “small to modest gains in several Hollywood employment arenas since the last report, they remain [demographically] underrepresented on every front.” The same report finds, however, that “increasingly diverse audiences prefer diverse film and television content.” The article overlooks the obvious fact that it is the stunning success of this season’s diverse television shows that is driving the producers and networks to ask for diverse actors-not some kind of misguided attempt to impose quotas. The following statement can be attributed to American Indians in Film and Television, Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, NAACP Hollywood Bureau, and National Hispanic Media Coalition:
“Shame on Deadline for giving a platform to the prejudices of a few Hollywood agents who, under the cloak of anonymity, revealed themselves to be among the entertainment industry gatekeepers reluctant to change their unfair and exclusionary practices and make way for progress.
“The inaccuracies and misconceptions the article put forth are patently offensive and reflect a larger problem of persisting racial and ethnic bias in the entertainment industry.
“Genuine progress in diversity on television is an extremely recent phenomenon and we applaud recent steps to diversify television in front and behind the camera. For full inclusion to happen, however, the entire industry’s discriminatory business model that has historically pushed out people of color needs to change.”The Multi-Ethnic Coalition, which in 2000 signed Memoranda of Understanding with ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX in which the networks committed to increase diversify in their ranks, offers the following recommendations to Deadline and Hollywood talent agencies who question the value of diversity: