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Hollywood Responds To The SenselesS Death Of George Floyd, Riots

The entertainment industry took to social media over the weekend to join the near-universal condemnation of the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department and decried the riots and looting that scorched many U.S. cities.

Walt Disney Chief Executive Bob Chapek, Executive Chairman Bob Iger, and Chief Diversity Officer Latondra Newton issued a joint statement Sunday saying they were struggling to make sense of the recent events.

“While we don’t have all the answers, we resolve to use our compassion, our creative ideas and our collective sense of humanity to ensure we are fostering a culture that acknowledges our people’s feelings and their pain.” the Disney statement said. “We also realize that now more than ever is the time for us all to further strengthen our commitment to diversity and inclusion everywhere.”

Amazon Studios, ViacomCBS, and Fox Entertainment Tweeted that they stood in solidarity with the black community and condemned all racism and discrimination. Alphabet’s YouTube service pledged $1 million to support social justice efforts.

“The recent killing of George Floyd is the latest in a series of deplorable events that highlight the need for real change in how we address our diversity as a society,” Lionsgate told Variety. “Our company has a proud 20-year history of serving our audiences with films and television programming that celebrate this diversity and speak to a wide range of cultural experiences.”

AT&T’s WarnerMedia properties HBO, HBO Max, TBS, and TNT all posted messages of support for the Black Lives Matter movement and changed their Twitter Handles to #BlackLivesMatter, according to Variety.

Netflix bluntly declared in a Tweet: “To be silent is to be complicit. Black lives matter. We have a platform, and we have a duty to our Black members, employees, creators, and talent to speak up.”

TikTok, for its part, was “proud to provide a platform where #blacklivesmatter and #georgefloyd generate powerful and influential content with over 1 billion page views,” according to a Tweet, adding “we are committed to fostering a space where everyone is seen and heard.”

When it comes to diversity and inclusion, the entertainment industry has come up short of its high ideals that has aspired to for decades.

No actors of color were nominated for any acting Oscars in 2015 and 2016, prompting the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to overhaul its membership rules to attract a more diverse base of voters. 

 As Vox Critic at large Emily VanDerWerff, noted earlier this year, Cynthia Erivo, who played Harriet Tubman in the film Harriet,  was the only performer of color to be nominated in 2020. She lost the Best Actress award to Renee Zellweger, who portrayed singer Judy Garland in Judy. 

“Nominating just one performer of color and then nominating her for playing Harriet Tubman feels a little like a bad joke from the old showbiz satire cartoon The Critic, but sometimes the Oscars exceed expectations for how bizarre they can get,” she wrote.

Source: Forbes Business

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