Did The Hollywood Reporter Miss The Mark With Its Latest Piece On Black Women Writers?
For their biggest shoot ever, The Hollywood Reporter, one of the premiere publications in entertainment, gathered together 62 of the brightest and best Black women working behind the scenes in Hollywood’s writing rooms.
“No more “we can’t find any black female writers,” the tweet was captioned alongside the photo. Each women represented a full spectrum in the field of writing in entertainment, one that so desperately needs the voices of Black women in the writing room.
The piece gave voice to the women who began their powerful networking group through a by chance meeting between producer and writer Nkechi Okoro Carro and a then up-and coming writer named Lena Waithe in 2014. Since then, the collective communes every few months at an event they’ve dubbed, “Black Women Who Brunch.”
When the outlet tweeted out the story, it garnered a ton of shares and retweets, prfiasing the outlet for fcalling out the industry who still seemingly struggles with understanding of what it means to diversify versus what it means to be inclusive.
But things came to a full stop when readers pointed out a glaring issue with the article. While Rebecca Sun, the outlet’s senior reporter, is a woman of color, (she is Asian) she is not a Black women.
Several pointed out the Reporter’s great effort to take Hollywood to task could probably be used in their own newsroom.
A second article released by The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday pointed to a new initiative the outlet spurred to bring more young leaders of color into the field of entertainment. The Young Executives Fellowship will begin in April 2019.
So the outlets seemed to be 0-2 on Wednesday in its efforts to highlight change in the entertainment industry. As I stated earlier, there’s a distinct difference between diversity and inclusivity. Diversity is just merely making sure bodies are in the room, while inclusivity is fostering a safe environment for those same bodies to thrive and elevate.
Maybe this is a lesson that most Newsrooms across the globe should seriously consider before writing another think piece or signing off on another diversity initiative.