Aziz Ansari just used Nicholas Sparks movies to illustrate Hollywood's ongoing diversity problem
ICYMI, there’s a big diversity issue in Hollywood, and Aziz Ansari just reconfirmed it for us Friday at The New York Times’ TimesTalks in New York City. “When people like ask me, ‘Do you think like the diversity stuff is getting better?’ I’m like, ‘No,’” Ansari said, according to People.
“There’s a poster right outside our writers’ room, it’s one of those Nicholas Sparks books where it’s just two white people just staring at each other,” he said. “It’s like, there’s been 20 of those movies — not once is it a black woman staring into a guy’s eyes. You know, everyone has romance in their lives.”
Speaking of TV shows, Ansari commented on the new lineup of shows and said, “…it’s like, MacGyver, Training Day with a white guy — what are we doing?” He continued, “Make the main person someone that looks different than the person that’s always a main person.”
Ansari also mentioned “window-dressing diversity.” “Someone looks at the cast and they’re like, ‘Damn that’s a lot white people, ummm, what if Ludacris is the friend? What if we just get an Indian guy and throw him in there?’ And that doesn’t really solve the problem.”
Ansari also spoke about diversity behind-the-scenes — specifically, in writers’ rooms. “Someone’s like, ‘Well let’s hire one black guy or one woman to be in this writers’ room,’” Ansari said. “And it’s like, no you should hire a couple.”
So, how do we solve the lack-of-diversity-in-Hollywood problem? It’s up to everyone to work to fix it. “If you’re a minority that gets an opportunity like I have in Master of None, I think it’s on you to bring up other minorities with you. Have a diverse writers’ room, look out for all minorities, not just people like you,” he said.