Although not a an educational entity, the Golden Globes surprised me with the candid conversations around inclusivity. For my friends around the globe, the Golden Globe Awards celebrate film and television stars in the US. Surprisingly the lack of diversity in it's voting ranks for excellence in acting in drama, comedy and musical presentations was called out loudly throughout the day and live telecast.
There are no black voting members on the Board of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association but the first African American female actor, Andra Day, won for her work in a dramatic role as Billie Holliday. Chadwick Bozeman, known for his role as the Black Panther, posthumously won for best actor in the movie Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Even Spike Lee's children Satchell and Jackson were selected as ambassadors. It was weird. And only having pointed this out did we notice the winner for Best Director was the first woman to win that award in 40 years! Chloe Zhao is an Asian American director whose movie Nomadland, a film about "itinerant Americans", continued to point out the lack of diversity in film and television production in the United States.
OK do we really need all of these award shows? During a pandemic? Yes! I watched the whole thing - entertained by all the different Zoom backgrounds from home, in kitchens, offices, in pajamas, with dogs, with kids. It was fun! And those stars get to get up and eat, and drink, and we feel a little more included in their lives.
But back to inclusion - the film industry can do better. Only a few years ago the MeToo movement forced that industry to open up the wounds suffered by women at the hands of powerful men. Laid to bare sexual misconduct forcing women into submissive, powerless roles while seeking a career in film. From that came justice and power for those women. Redemption and improved ability to open doors where those doors were slammed shut without the sexual favors tied to them. Included in that man's world and paving the way for more women to branch into the work dominated by men. And you know, the films are better for it, the environment is improved, but work still needs to be done and women have the power to speak up.
Dan Levy, my favorite actor from Schitts Creek, along with his father created a workplace and fictional town where inclusivity plays a clear role in the everyday lives of the character. No mean girls here. And of course my favorite lines of that evening "the idea that inclusion can bring about love and growth to a community". He was speaking about his award winning show Shitt's Creek but continued to call out the systemic needs for change in that industry. Whether that is film, your local community, our schools - we need to do better.