Thursday, May 17, 2007

Diversity

That's a word that probably doesn't figure highly in writer's minds, but is way up there in the lexicon of BBC Buzzwords. So is worth mentioning for that alone.

Essentially the BBC want to see more minorities on screen. I couldn't agree more. Though I'd rather see the diversity in the ranks of writers, producers and directors first. Otherwise you have a lot of 'whitebread writing street' scenes, to use a shorthand.

I don't have a lot of time for quotas. And throwing minorities into a show just to make up the numbers rather than actually investigating the issues and stories which can be dramatically portrayed to give everyone a better understanding of that minority seems like a waste of time.

There is the argument that you integrate the minority character and make them just like any other, and that is fine. But minorities are different. That's is why they are labelled minorities. And before any dipshit BNP wally dives in, I'm talking about celebrating and sharing those differences. I love that different groups of people feel and act differently depending on their cultural background. And as a writer I want to understand why. So I can write it. Those small differences are interesting to me.

If I were writing a movie about the Williams Sisters or Tiger Woods or Shilpa Shetty or I should be so lucky - Nelson Mandella or Martin Luther King I would want to get behind the minds. What shaped and influenced them and why whitebread like me still actually thinks in terms of minorities? Or maybe I don't?

Diversity - Good! Diversity for the sake of it - Not as good.

Jasper Carrott sitcom about a one legged black lesbian miner - or something like that - not good at all.

4 comments:

Biby Cletus said...

Cool blog, i just randomly surfed in, but it sure was worth my time, will be back

Deep Regards from the other side of the Moon

Biby Cletus

Jamie said...

Did you see the one Jasper Carott was in with the Indian boy in a wheelchair who couldn't talk.

Not only was it not funny and horribly crass, but the character couldn't talk, he just sat there. But in real life the actor (who was in a wheelchair) could really talk!

I'd feel pretty miffed at being slapped on screen as a non speaking token!

Jaded and Cynical said...

Masochist that I am, I watched the Republican Party presidential debate on Fox News the other night. At one point the interviewer, to his credit, asked the dozen or very rich, very privileged, very white candidates whether they were embarrassed that they could all belong to the same exclusive country club. No straight answers, of course.

During the last US presidential election voters got to choose between a very privileged white guy who was a member of the Skull & Bones at Yale, or a slightly taller, very privileged white guy who was a member of the Skull & Bones at Yale.

Closer to home, the two jokers who are likely to be the next PM and Chancellor were both members of the same 14-man drinking club at Oxford. David Cameron's biography on Wikipedia reads more like a studbook entry than a qualification for office.

If that's the level of diversity at the top of society, it's kind of hard to expect a utopian meritocracy on the third floor of Broadcasting House.

English Dave said...

jamie, I'll be honest. I thought that sitcom sounded like it was a writer's joke on the establishment that went horribly wrong when they said they actually wanted to make it.

Jaded, on the money. If you'll pardon the pun. lol