During the Oscar nominations, Hollywood was badly battered by the backlash on lack of diversity; however, Hollywood only has to look for inspiration through television. While movies have definitely lagged behind, television has certainly exploded with diversity. The film industry is now trying to catch up with the small screen where some of the most talented artists are turning to for artistic freedom. Artists do not have to worry about marketability in China because they can tell more varied stories on TV.
According to Viola Davis who won an Emmy as best actress in a TV drama, television cares about its audience and it caters to the demographics of what is America. Television is actually a faster and more flexible medium than film. There are also more opportunities on TV because of cable and streaming networks and the willingness for riskier material. Hollywood is largely controlled by six major film studios and a handful of large production companies.
A few years ago, television landscape was not so diverse but it is now flush with the likes of Lee Daniels of Empire, Aziz Ansari of Master of None and Jill Soloway of Transparent. Narratives have become significantly varied so that actors gain the opportunity to come in and show what they have got.
In order to be competitive in crowded media landscape, studios are now bankrolling fewer films. Instead, the focus is on potential blockbusters that can sell tickets all over the world. The strategy seems to work because 2015 was able to set a $11.1billion record at the box office. The two most popular films Furious 7 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens grossed more than $1 billion. The cast came close to representing American society than other blockbusters in the past. The lack of Oscar nominations however is a perfect reflection of the movie industry. The public may not be aware of what is actually happening behind the scenes but they see TV has much more diversity.
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