Representation and Diversity

This post was written by a student. It has not been fact checked or edited.

It has been noted over the last decade that diversity has been slowly improving, however it has been an arduous process. The question is why is diversity important? Diversity is important in all areas of life because everyone has a right to be respected, represented correctly and to have a voice. Sometimes, diversity can be hard because people of different religions have trouble understanding each other, which can cause conflict. However, it is still impactful to have people from different cultural backgrounds.

Diversity can be shown in multiple ways. There are simple things people can do to make a start, for example, When casting actors to play in a movie (or show), cast people of different genders, ethnicities, and sizes. In addition, when a film or programme has a character with a disability, the producers should cast an actor with the same disability to truly give them representation.

In 1908, the first colourised movie was produced, since then many stereotypes were born. The lack of diversity in movies, shows and programmes can create terrible stereotypes that can really affect people’s self-esteem. The lack of diversity in workplaces can affect people’s self view even more. Stereotypes can be degrading and nasty and really impact mental health.

There are lots of views surrounding diversity, some not as kind as others and many people agree and some disagree that diversity is important. Someone who disagrees might sound like this. I do not see people who don’t look like me where I live so it is not important. If they don’t see people of different ethnicities Where they are, they don’t think further than that and they aren't shown people who are different to them. The view of someone who agrees could be that they think that it is important because across the world there are people who are of different ethnicities so they should get a fair representation of themself, their race and culture. When everyone is represented and respected on tv and many more than everyone feels special and that they are normal and if they were not represented at all they would think they are not normal. I think that diversity is essential and it should be existent world wide. It is something that is necessary, it can easily change (not just on tv but everywhere).

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  • I think you just pointed out a new point, there has been a legacy of poor representation of races in movies. People fail to understand that that representation matters. The idea here is that when you see yourself in cinema, that is, when you see characters in film and television that look like you, talk like you, live like you, it affirms your place in the world. It assures you that you do, in fact, exist and have a role to play in society. And that starts at a very young age, often before you’ve formed clear ideas about the world outside your own home and family. Seeing yourself represented in the fictional world of cinema points to your social existence long before you have the opportunity to put that knowledge into practice. Now imagine you never see anyone on screen in film or television that looks like you, talks like you or lives like you. Or if you do, those characters are relegated to minor, negatively stereotyped roles. For some of you, that won’t be hard to imagine. Maybe you’re a woman or maybe you’re a person of color, or maybe both.