Though the Academy's long overdue move last week to introduce measures aimed at alleviating a persistent diversity crisis was certainly welcomed, the battle for diverse representation in Hollywood is far from over. During a recent appearance on BBC Breakfast, Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo voiced concerns that some are viewing the #OscarsSoWhite controversy as only a Hollywood problem and not a national issue.
"If you look at Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, what he was saying is the good people who don’t act are much worse than the wrongdoers who are purposely not acting and don’t know the right way," Ruffalo said, adding that he thinks anyone involved with shining a light on Hollywood's diversity problem should also support the Black Lives Matter movement. "It isn’t just the Academy Awards," Ruffalo insisted. "The entire American system is rife with white privilege racism. It goes into our justice system."
Though some briefly speculated that Ruffalo had plans to join Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith's Oscars boycott, the Spotlight star ultimately decided to attend in honor of "victims of clergy sexual abuse." Thankfully, certain members of the entertainment industry are taking responsibility for their delay on addressing these concerns, culminating in Variety's recent cover:
Will the industry's actions moving forward reflect these apparent flashes of enlightenment? As long as Ruffalo and others continue to speak candidly about keeping their own white privilege in check, then progress is most certainly possible.