With Oscar night almost upon us, it is sadly inevitable that the thorny issue of diversity will once again poke its head above the parapet. Or, as is more likely, be rammed down the throats of the millions watching around the world.
Now whilst I have every sympathy with many of the issues which taint the film industry on both sides of the pond, in particular the appalling lack of roles being written for older women, I have to say something about the notion that we need to implement a quota system to support those from minority groups. Because speaking as a member of a minority group, I am all for it.
Oh yes, in the business that we call film, when it comes to both minorities and the discriminated, I tick more than my fair share of boxes. What? You think I have it easier because I’m a white male? Seriously? OK, point me in the direction of the schemes that encourage writing from the white community? Or the over 50’s. Or the disabled. Or for that matter, men. Good luck with that.
I am of course, being sarcastic, but there are some serious points to be made here. Not least, if you’re going to start to impose quota’s on the creative process, where do you begin? Or for that matter, end? After all, how many races are there? Or religions, or disabilities? Will producers have to include one of each? Or will there be a quota of the quota? Will some groups be regarded as more ‘minority’ than others?
The questions go on and on but there is one which is far more important than all of the others and it’s one which thus far, I haven’t seen asked let alone answered. How would you address the small matter of talent?
Because ultimately, any enforced quota system can only have a negative impact on the talent that appears on-screen and that can only be to the detriment of the finished product. Why on earth would anyone want that? Least of all those who may or may not end up winning some token statue.
Yes, of course there is potential for change, but we must never lose sight of the fact that the thing that sits at the very heart of the movie industry, both in front and behind the camera and irrespective of colour, creed, gender or anything else, is talent.
People even win Oscars for it.
Apologies for repeating myself, but as some people are aware, I am one of a number of people involved in a legal dispute with film producer, Jonathan Sothcott.
I won’t go into details here as it’s now a matter for HMRC and the police who have already interviewed him in connection with our allegations. However, both Top Dog Films Ltd and We Still Kill The Old Way Ltd, have recently been wound up on account of unpaid invoices and as a consequence, the investigator for the Official Receiver has contacted me and requested that anyone remaining unpaid for work on Top Dog, We Still Kill or for that matter, any film made by one of Jonathan Sothcott’s companies, contact him direct as a matter of urgency.
His details are: Andrew Beckett, Official Receivers Office, The Insolvency Service (London), 2nd Floor, Abbey Orchard Street, London, SW1P 2HT .
Tel: 0207 637 6337 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, contact the Metropolitan Police at Merton Police station quoting crime reference: 1404781/15
My numerous books including the football comedy Wings of a Sparrow and the #1 thrillers, The Crew and Top Dog are available from both Amazon and iTunes.
Please click on the relevant link for more information.
Oscar, Bafta, diversity, author, screenwriter, racism, racist, hollywood