UT Students Give Insight on How to Raise Awareness in Film Representation, What Needs Improvement.

UT Students Give Insight on How to Raise Awareness in Film Representation, What Needs Improvement.

WRITTEN BY Frances Seiters

The film industry has been something that has taken over the country for decades. 

It’s a fun activity Americans love to experience, whether they are going out to the movie theater or chilling at home with a bowl of popcorn. 

The film industry itself is quite interesting, for there are so many bits and pieces involved. Some controversy has swirled around the industry for accusations for lack of representation of minorities. 

Minorities don’t pertain to just ethnicity and race, but to sexual orientation as well. The film industry is slowly bringing more awareness to this minority in particular, but the industry could still improve in some aspects.

When UT students were asked if minorities were being represented more in the film industry, the overall consensus was that there was barely any representation. What could solve this, and why is this the way it is?

When students were asked how representation could improve in film, they gave insight and suggestions on what actions could be taken from a casting director’s point of view. 

A survey was conducted asking what minorities should be represented more, and as the results were anonymous, an unnamed student stated that the LGBTQ minority should be represented more, but as more of a norm and not making their sexual orientation as the sole purpose of the film. 

Many films have been made where the character’s journey is the plot of the movie and that has created a good environment for people from the LGBTQ and more. This generation is at a point where seeing main characters from films as a part of this minority is normal, and hopefully these portrayals will continue to progress. 

The survey also asked what could be done to improve representation in film and an anonymous student said that actors should be cast based on talent and not their looks. If it were this way, there wouldn’t be so much bias in choosing who plays what part.

For example, “The Little Mermaid” remake is going to have a Black woman starring as Ariel. Controversy has erupted from this because it wasn’t seen as traditional. 

At the point society is at right now, everything is progressive and changing, and therefore not everything can stick to tradition. Tradition can sometimes mean prejudice, and this example from “The Little Mermaid” is breaking that tradition. 

Casting people of color to star in movies is one way to bring more representation into film, but there are also the people who make the movie.

Going off of the question of what could be done to help improve, another student said that scholarships and financial aid should be given to more people of color to encourage their perspectives and direction. These future directors and producers would bring so much more recognition to minorities who aren’t represented as much as others. 

The question of which minorities need more representation was asked, and the answers that students gave explain why the overall consensus was that only a small improvement has been made. 

Native Americans, the Latino community, Asians, LGBTQ, Muslims or anything not Christian/Atheist, and African Americans were the minorities that were stated that do not get enough representation. 

Change starts from within the industry and everyone has to agree. Unfortunately, a big part of the film industry is how the public reacts to each film. The public is full of different types of people and their reactions are based on whether they enjoy what they see or not. 

With everything that is going on in our country at the moment, it brings some intensity in bringing this change into reality. Acceptance is what needs to happen, along with the realization that the goal should be to create equal opportunities for all types of people. 

Of course, this comes from within the film industry, but also the general public, for they are the ones who keep the film industry up and running.

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