Four hours just isn’t enough.
If you are among the Jada Pinkett Smiths, the Spike Lees and the Mark Ruffalos of the world who are boycotting the 2016 Oscars due to the Academy’s all-white filter on this year’s nominees, you now have four hours to spare. This time could be spent spewing anger at Hollywood’s diversity deprecation, but these efforts will be futile given that your friends and followers will most likely still be watching the show.
Some question the #OscarsSoWhite strike for this very reason. Why make a fuss out of a problem now that has historically impacted minority groups? Others question whether there is action in inaction, and whether throwing a tantrum will suddenly shine the prestigious spotlight onto stories that celebrate the lesser-recognized hues, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages and handicaps that make humanity interesting without the shift feeling heavy-handed.
Truth be told, visibility is certainly not a problem that will be rectified “after this commercial break”. It lies in the hands of the privileged folks, the ones with the money and the cameras whose skin tones could be colored with the same Crayola crayon used at varying pressures:
Until Hollywood gets its act together, the least that we can do is celebrate the work that has been done. The lens will open up on the stories that need to be heard once the dialogue begins, so here are 12 Ways to Promote Diversity in Film While Boycotting the #OscarsSoWhite.
We had the incredible opportunity of chatting with the star of Lee’s modern day “Lysistrata” about the unjust murder of a child and a group of women in collaboration to fight the violence of Chicago’s Southside, and challenge the global dialogue of race, sex and violence.
In response to the Oscars outrage, this Jane the Virgin star began a weekly feature on her Instagram account that highlights the productions of minority filmmakers.
3. Learn that Gina Rodriguez ≠ America Ferrera
Because all Latinas are all the same person—right, Golden Globe Awards Twitter account?
4. Pick a Film, Any Film, From This List of Movies that Highlight the Stories of Characters with Mental and Physical Disabilities
5. Not Feeling Any of the Above? Try Picking Something to Watch from This List of Films and Shows Featuring Transgender Individuals.
7. Check out the Tumblr Account, Every Single Word, which illustrates the deficiency in screen time and speaking roles for people of color through YouTube supercuts of famous films
12. Storytellers—Write your truth!
The pen is mightier than the sword. If you are among any minority group that feels misrepresented, take a bold first step by sharing your perspective. Writing a script is as simple as jotting down inspiration with these handy tools from our writer’s guide and downloading this free script writing software. Take it one step further by submitting it to screenwriting competitions through WithoutABox.com. A quick Google search will even unearth several identity-driven organizations that will support the work of their community, including this one for women, and this one for Latino filmmakers.