Late last year, Canada’s newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled his cabinet: 15 men, 15 women. When asked why, his response was brief: ‘Because it’s 2015.’
But in our industry it’s not even 2015 yet. In terms of gender the world is everywhere 50/50 male/female, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at the writing credits on films or television. America is 36% minority, but the pool of people of color employed as writers is a small fraction of that.
The WGAW understands that we need to change a broken industry, not simply mirror it. Shonda Rhimes, speaking last weekend, defined the task simply and beautifully: ‘to write the world as it actually is.’
Because it’s 2016.
Rodman’s statement doesn’t mention the latest uproar over the lack of any minority actors nominated for Oscars this year, but the timing appears not to be coincidental.
For what it’s worth, none of the 17 writers nominated for this year’s WGA Awards – including the four nominated for Straight Outa Compton – is black, and only three of them (17.6%) are women.