Hollywood’s diversity problem extends well beyond casting choices, Gemma Chan said.
The “Crazy Rich Asians” star is featured in the September issue of British Vogue (which was guest-edited by Meghan Markle) as one of 15 “Forces For Change.” In the interview, Chan explained that the industry isn’t as welcoming to projects centered around minorities or women as it should be.
“I know the perception is that it’s got a lot easier to make films by or about minorities or women, but it’s actually still difficult,” she said. “I would like to see a real increase in the diversity of people who are in a position to make decisions.”
The actress, who is an outspoken advocate for more diverse representation in the industry, went on to point out that “just a handful of people in Hollywood” have the authority to green light projects, and only a small portion are women or minorities.
“Until we address those systemic imbalances all the way up the chain, we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
Indeed, behind the camera and beyond, Hollywood still has a lot to do to even the playing field. A 2019 Hollywood diversity report found that from 2011 to 2017, only 1.3 out of every 10 film directors were people of color. The same study also revealed that women and individuals of color remain significantly underrepresented among television show creators. When looking at broadcast scripted shows from the 2016-2017 season, 9.4 percent of show creators were people of color, while proportionate representation would require those of color to hold a 39.4 percent share.