The discussion of whether diversity in the media has been accomplished is ongoing, and the importance of it is proliferating.
There has been a significant change in the film industry since the 50’s and 60’s; despite this progress, there is still a long way to go before the various forms of media start diversifying.
The media lacks various aspects regarding the representation of diverse characters, which is a significant problem that needs to be fixed.
As the generation who has the world at their fingertips, information, and awareness on this particular issue is critical. The first step to solving a major problem in our world of media is understanding it.
This essay will emphasize on stigmatization in the media and the importance of diversification, and give a response to Mark Haddon’s quote:
Idris Elba, African American actor, held a speech on the importance of diversity in the media where he touched on this very subject.
He said “if you have genuine diversity of thought among people that make television and film, then you accidentally won’t shut out the groups I just mentioned (races, religions, ages, cultures, genders and sexual orientations).”
Diversity of thought, or cognitive diversity, is needed amongst the producers, journalists, writers and directors just as much as it is around the common folk. Inevitably as one of those two parts progress, the other will follow along.
Furthermore, while the media has evolved dramatically the last thirty years, there are still many signs of ignorance.
Stigmatisation and stereotypes have become common themes for the media, primarily in books and films, amongst characters with a different ethnic background and those with disorders.
This is an example of how inclusion in the media can easily be misinterpreted, for how much does the notion of inclusiveness matter when all it does is reinforce traditional stereotypes?
A book that most of us grew up with, who powerfully uses stereotypes in nearly every character of a different nationality, is the Harry Potter franchise by J.K. Rowling.
You read correctly, yes - for while the franchise is a best-seller and has been for years, the stereotypes are difficult not to pick up on throughout the books and films.