On the PBS Series Actors on Actors, two distinguished performers discuss their views on various topics.  In the latest episode, airing early next year, Viola Davis and Tom Hanks sit down for a co-op interview.  One of the topics discussed was diversity in television and film.  While television is brimming with opportunities for minority and female characters, film has seen a noticeably slow growth.

Hanks describe the issue as an issue of economics.  "(When) the economics of a movie comes along, that has to play in China, or has to play overseas, simply in order to make its investment back, it ends up being one of the boundaries of being as diverse,”

In Davis’ take, the issue can also be attributed to acceptance.  "Even in fabulous roles, they are still within the confines of being ‘strong,’ ‘a device,’ ‘funny,….If it’s a black movie, at best it’s a biopic because it makes the audience feel comfortable that I am investing in this black person’s humanity, who I already know has made a mark in the world.“

While no generational change will be made because of the interview, it’s still nice to see two well known and well respected actors openly acknowledge the issue and discuss their thoughts on diversity.


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