Why Representation in Entertainment Matters

To white people: do you ever take a minute to look at your surroundings or whatever you’re watching on TV and realize that all you see is someone who looks like you? Imagine yourself as a child again. What thoughts would be going through your mind if you were a person of color and didn’t see your culture or ethnicity reflected in the media?

Maybe you would think you’re not important. Maybe you would think there’s no one of your ethnicity in entertainment. Maybe you would think that you couldn’t become an actress or performer because no one has done it before.

Instead of me trying to further explain it, I’ll share some extremely important examples from some wonderful women.

1. Internet personality Glozell goes to Disneyland and meets Princess Tiana, the first black American princess.

“I’m so happy to meet her because when I went to Disney as a child, there was no black people even in the parade, none less a princess.”

2. Academy Award winning Actress Lupita Nyong’o on “The Color Purple”

http://player.cnevids.com/embed/525327094ffb605925000022/5176e90368f9daff42000014

“When I saw Whoopi Goldberg and she looked like me, and I was like, ‘Oh! I could do this, I could do this for a living.”

3. Cali Lynn, daughter of The Game and Tiffney Cambridge, talks about why she wants to be an actress (1:26)

“If I was on TV, I would be Kerry Washington because she works at the White House. She’s so smart.”

It is extremely hard to doubt or disagree that representation doesn’t matter when there are examples so significant and so touching.

What do you think?

Representation is not for lack of trying. Much of Hollywood works against casting people of color. Do you think the consumers can affect Hollywood’s tendencies to exclude multiple ethnicities?

What area of media and entertainment would you like to see less caucasian people and more people of color?

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