Despite giving a thumbs up to the Academy for taking steps to increase diversity among its membership, don’t expect Ava DuVernay to use that word to express the hot issue when it comes to the racial and gender imbalance in Hollywood.
“We’re hearing a lot about diversity. I hate that word so, so much,” the “Selma” director shared with media and members of the film industry at a Sundance Film Festival luncheon on Jan. 24, according to The New York Times.
In DuVernay’s eyes, words like “inclusion” and “belonging” are better suited to illustrate Tinseltown’s longstanding issue.
“[Diversity] is a medicinal word that has no emotional resonance, and this is a really emotional issue,” she said. “It’s emotional for artists who are women and people of color to have less value placed on our worldview.”
DuVernay’s comments, which were said at the ‘Fifth Annual ARRAY Soiree, come a year or so after “Selma” helped trigger the #OscarSoWhite hashtag after it emerged without Oscar nominations for Best Actor and Best Director. The filmmaker is noted for being passionate about inclusion and representation in the movie industry.
Partnering with Indiegogo, DuVernay launched the ARRAY Soiree as a vehicle to celebrate her independent film company ARRAY. The company, founded in 2010, is dedicated to the increase of independent films by people of color and women filmmakers.
“There’s a belonging problem in Hollywood. Who dictates who belongs? The very body who dictates that looks all one way,” DuVernay expressed at the end of the luncheon, regarding how Hollywood can move forward “… Change has to happen, it has to happen with the people who dictate who belongs. It’s disconcerting to hear people say that shouldn’t change. That’s the very reason it should.”