Same Old Script

"In more than 20 interviews conducted over the past few months with writers (nonwhite and white, young and seasoned), executive producers, and directors of diversity programs and committees, a picture emerged of an industry that’s not even close to “normalizing”—to borrow a term from Rhimes—so that it more accurately represents what America looks like today. Instead, the television industry, like most creative industries (including journalism), pays lip service to “diversity” while very little actually changes. Even as the hottest show on TV boasts a majority-nonwhite writing staff, the work of vigorously recruiting non-white writing talent is still confined to a narrow pipeline: Diversity departments and fellowships help to fill one or two designated diversity slots on each staff. And that’s just the start of the problem: As writer after writer revealed, even when writers of color make it into that pipeline, the industry hasn’t gotten much better at making them feel as though their voices matter."