Panel - Hollywood's Diversity Problem

February 29, 2016 - Plantation Wedding & Hollywood Diversity 02/29/2016 Views: 527

"Hamilton" star Daveed Diggs, Robin Thede and Holly Walker discuss the effects of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy and examine the diversity gap between film and television. (6:15)

Welcome back.I'm here with my panel.

First up, Nightly Show contributor Robin Thede.

(cheering, applause)

And Nightly Show contributorHolly Walker.

(cheering, applause)

And he's a rapper, writer andactor who originated the roles

Thomas Jeffersonand Marquis de Lafayette

in the smashBroadway musical Hamilton,

-Daveed Diggs, everybody.-(cheering, applause)

And for everyone at home,join our conversation right now

on Twitter-- @NightlyShow,using #Tonightly.

Okay, so Chris Rock did it.Hosted the Oscars last night.

-I think he did a great jobof just... -I do, too. -Yes.

-He did, he did.-I mean, calling out, uh...

I mean, he called out Hollywoodto its face.

-Time and time again.-I know.

-Yeah.-Yeah, like, the whole show.

-Yup.-It was pretty bold.

Does anyone thinkthis'll actually

make any kind of difference?Like, a night like last night?

Yes, of course.White people never want to feel

-that uncomfortable ever again.-WALKER: Yes, absolutely.

Nobody wants to beembarrassed like that.

Like, 'cause next yearhe would really go off.

This wasthe nice and gentle year. Mm-mm.

This was nice and gentle?-Yes, yes. -I don't know, I-I...

I feel like Hollywoodhas been embarrassed

plenty of times before.I'm not really sure

that anything has...has happened this far,

-you know what I'm saying?-THEDE: Well, the Academy

did change some rules,which is good, right?

They made voting...You couldn't vote

-if you haven't workedin the last ten years. -Mm-hmm.

You... They're broadeningtheir diverse outreach,

so they're trying to get morepeople of color on the...

in the Academy.You know, I mean, they're...

-It did actuallymake changes happen. -Yeah.

Right. It seems like televisionhas-has done a better job

-with diverse casting right now,you know? -Oh, yeah.

Why do you think, uh, the moviesare just lagging behind so much?

Have you noticed...have you noticed that yourself?

Yeah. I mean, I-I don't know.I don't know...

It-it is... it seems thatit takes longer to make a film.

You know what I'm saying?Like, I mean,

maybe it's a process thing,maybe they just

haven't caught up yet. Like,maybe... maybe the movies are...

Like, black peoplejust don't have time?

Yeah, yeah. No, no, no.

May-Maybe we've got, like,a whole backlog of black movies

that just, like, haven't beenfinished being produced yet.

Like, in the next... the next,like, ten years, we're just

-only gonna see black movies.-You're saying that the black

-movies are on CP time. That'swhat you're saying. -Exactly.

Exactly what I'm saying.

You know what I think it is?I think it's that movies

have bigger budgetsso they can do these fantasy

and, like, period pieceswhere's black people

don't exist anymore.But TV-- they got small budgets.

They just got to make dowith who's there.

Well, but I... I will tell youwhy television is-is so diverse.

Two words: Shonda Rhimes.Like...

She's step...she's stepping up the game.

I-I think television is nowhaving a proven track record

-that having us on therewill make money. -Yeah.

-Empire made a crap tonof money. -Yup. -Yeah.

Like, that's-that's good...that's great for all of us.

THEDE:It's true.

No, greed will always leadin Hollywood.

Green is the most importantcolor there, you know?

Once people start sniffing,like... (sniffing, grunting)

Black people gonnamake us some money.

But it's not just blacks. Youknow, the whole diversity issue,

uh, I read this essay--I can't remember who wrote it--

but it was about the empathygap, you know? It has...

The Asian-Americans, Mexicans.I mean, I thought

it was extraordinarythat, um, um, Iñárritu, uh--

I probably pronounced his namewrong-- but he won Best Director

-twice, I think, right? That'shuge. -Yeah. It's amazing. Yeah.

-Yeah. -I mean, I love to seethat, because things like that,

-I believe, opens the door for alot of people, you know? -Yeah.

-Um... -Well, and I think it'sabout... It's not so much...

You know, we use this key word,"diversity," "diversity,"

there was actually a surprisingamount of diversity at the show

last night. There were people...Lots of foreign accents and,

you know, there were...you know, there were

small Asian children maybemisused in a bit, but, um...

-But they were there. -But theywere there. They were there.

And-and I think,for black people, especially,

it's not so much aboutdiversity-- it's about normalcy.

Make projects that looklike the world around you.

-We don't need you to put tokensin. -(cheering and applause)

-Exactly. And who's tellingthe story. -Yeah.

It's funny 'cause... And Hamilton is very anachronistic.

I mean, you have... Did anybodyget upset that, uh, people

of color are playing thesehistorically white figures?

-They didn't talk to meabout it. -Yeah. -(laughter)

Yeah. No, I-I think...

But I think what we... what-whatthe show is trying to do

is-is what you're talking about.

The way that you sort of...

the waythat we make history exciting

to learn about isby breaking down the barriers

that are already set upbetween these people.

And we see these peopleas old white men

who we don't care about.But if you cast them

as people who you seein your neighborhood every day,

-all of a sudden I have a reasonto give a damn -Mm-hmm.

about George Washington,who I honestly didn't

-before-before I did the show.-Right. -And I still don't.

-I still don't. -I'm sayin'...Yeah. -That's hilarious.

-But you might care aboutChris Jackson. -That's right.

-You know what I'm saying? Yeah.-You know I do.

-Oh, I do. I definitely do.-Yeah. He's a...

-Most definitely. -Chris Jacksonis a great, like...

-It must be nice.-(laughter)

Chris Jackson is a greatGeorge Washington gateway drug,

-you know what I'm saying? Youlearn a lot about Chris -Yeah.

-and a little about George.-But do you think that's part

of that empathy gap,that, uh, it helps people

to empathize morewith those characters,

-to see 'em reflected more liketoday's culture? -Absolutely.

Well, and that's the...that's the business of theatre.

We're really in the businessof empathy.

Tommy Kail, our director,says that all the time.

And that's-that's what we do.You know? To be an actor

on a stage, you have to...you have to empathize

with a life that is outsideof your own, and that's...

and when you come there to seeit, that's what you're doing.

We all laugh togetherbecause we-we empathize

with the situation that's goingon. We cry together.

And that's what theatre does,actually, better

than a lot of other mediums.So I think it's-it's, you know,

-right for us to be doing itthis way. -Willing suspension

of disbelief. Um, okay, here'ssomething I could not believe.

We talked about this earlier.Can you show the Whoopi, uh...

-tweet again? Where people thought she was Oprah. -See?

-See? This... Yeah. -Robin, how does this happen?

So, here's the thing, like, black people boycotted

the Oscars. There wereonly three black people there,

-and you mistook Oprah?-Yes.

-But Whoopi and Oprah,you confused them? -Two of them.

I mean, the only people therewere Chris Rock, Kevin Hart,

and Stacey Dash. Mm.

Oh, there were more black peoplethere. Come on.

-I mean, there were a few more,but... -A few more.

Quincy was there.

Yeah, Quincy was there.

They drug out Lou Gossett Jr.

-He was there.-(laughter)

-Drug out? What do you...-They drug him out.

You're acting like... you'reacting like he was in the grave.

They woke him up.They woke him up. "Lou, Lou,

the Oscars are on.Come and be on our Oscar show."

-We'll be right back.-(cheering and applause)

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