Diversity was a pretty hot topic last year during the whole #OscarsSoWhite fiasco, and you’d think that big of a conversation would have woken some people up. Because if it’s bad enough to get a hashtag, it must be something you should know about. Well, Aaron Sorkin just found out that Hollywood doesn’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to diverse voices.
Variety says Aaron was educated about the struggle during the Writers Guild Festival in Los Angeles on Saturday. Aaron once claimed the award-winning bar was set so much higher for actors than actresses, so this news blew his mind. Aaron was on a panel that featured several Hollywood screenwriters. When the topic of writer’s room diversity came up, Aaron asked the audience:
“Are you saying that women and minorities have a more difficult time getting their stuff read than white men and you’re also saying that [white men] get to make mediocre movies and can continue on?”
He continued, claiming that Hollywood is a “genuine meritocracy,” and admitting he legitimately didn’t know there was a problem. Variety says that even after people had moved on to other subject, Aaron kept trying to go back to the whole diversity thing. Aaron obviously wanted to clearer explanation as to why some writer’s rooms are lacking women and people of color.
“You’re saying that if you are a woman or a person of color, you have to hit it out of the park in order to get another chance?”
“And even when you hit it out of the park, some people still throw the ball back!” cried Brett Ratner.
In an attempt to make sense of this conundrum, Aaron then listed off some successful non-white or non-male writers, like Lena Dunham, Jordan Peele, and Ava Duvernay. Aaron eventually waved a little white flag (no pun intended) and asked how he could help fix the situation.
“What can I do? I do want to understand what someone like me can do…but my thing has always been: If you write it, they will come.”
Of course his experience is that if he writes it, they will come. All of his dialogue takes place as people are hauling ass down a hallway. They don’t have any other choice!