As we move along in our conversation on race and diversity in Hollywood, we continue to dig through the layers of the issue and push to answer the ultimate question: How do we fix this? What are the solutions? Are there any?
If the industry can't be fixed—if those traditions can't be broken, if the Academy can't be cleansed—then only option may be to work around it. Citing creators like Spike Lee, Robert Townsend, and more recently Issa Rae and Nate Parker, producer Debra Martin Chase notes how some of the best black creators have made their way by being self-produced, by starting from outside the parameters of the Hollywood system and forcing the powers that be to recognize how impossible to ignore they really are.
The truth is that no matter what, this is a multi-generational process. After passing on the idea of industry-imposed quotas on diversity, Martin Chase, writer Devon Shepard, and casting director Tracy "Twinkie" Byrd all point to the importance of making opportunities—behind the camera and in front of it—available to black people, and especially making young black people aware of those opportunities. "What Spike [Lee] did, what Robert Townsend did, what the Wayans did—what they did was give young black people jobs and access in order to watch what a camera operator does, what a grip is, what lighting is, what a DP is," Byrd points out.
Watch Part 4 of "Racism in Hollywood" above. To watch the rest of the roundtable series, and read more on the subject, click here.