Representation in Hollywood

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Hollywood has always been the white male's playground. In the beginning of the film industry and the entertaiment industry in general, it was commonplace to perform in blackface. Blackface and similar concepts, yellowface and brownface, fall under a common Hollywood practice of whitewashing. The act of casting white actors in person of color (POC) roles.

It is important to note that representation goes beyond ethnic minorities. Hollywood lacks equal representation in many spheres such as gender and queer representation. For simplicity's sake, this page will focus on the representation of ethnic minorities.

A History of Whitewashing


The annual Academy Awards, often known as the Oscars, hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is regarded as the highest honor those in the film industry can receive. With categories such as Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor, there has been a surprising lack of diverse representation. Since 2000, there have been eight black men nominated for the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role with only three wins. The opportunities for black men in Hollywood for recogniation are sparse and its even fewer for black women and other minorities. These disparities have come to light with the movement, #OscarsSoWhite.

To browse a selection of diverse films recognized by the Academy, click here!

What's Changed

Hollywood has made strides in representation especially in the current climate when movements such as #OscarsSoWhite have gained momentum. 2018 has been a groundbreaking year especially with more POC directors getting opportunities to make blockbuster films and more POC leads.

Sadly, Hollywood is not the perfect picture of diversity. Cases of whitewashing still occur in recent films, most notably Aloha and Ghost in the Shell. As record-breaking and spectacular as 2018 has been, there is much room for improvement

Representation Today

What Should You Watch Tonight Quiz

This quiz provides you a movie to watch based on the genre you're interested in! But the results only feature films that portray POC as dynamic and interesting characters instead of punchlines and background props. It provides you the opportunity to acquaint yourself with more diverse stories.

Click here to try the quiz!