‘Studios will keep financing’ Black, brown films because ‘diversity sells,’ says producer
Film studios will “keep financing” diverse projects because they make money, Will Packer Productions President James Lopez told Yahoo Finance Live.
“It’s been proven over and over that diversity sells. And it’s good business all around,” he said, adding that film studios aren’t choosing to finance projects with Black casts and crew due to “altruism… It’s a business decision, and you know, at the end of the day, it’s all about the green.”
“It’s all about the performance of the content that’s being produced,” he said, noting that if diverse projects no longer work, “you’re going to see a drawback — but I don’t think they’re going to stop working.”
According to the latest Hollywood Diversity Report, “people of color posted gains relative to their white counterparts in each of the five key Hollywood employment arenas examined in the film sector.” This includes film leads, directors, and studio heads.
But, the study noted, “people of color remained underrepresented on every industry employment front in 2019.”
“And as long as the diversity continues in terms of thought, in terms of story, the audiences will become more and more accustomed to seeing people who look different,” Lopez said.
Black and brown actors should get a “fair shot” to play a role, he added, it shouldn’t matter if the actor isn’t from the same country as the character they play, according to Lopez.
“We have to get over these issues within our own community,” he said, adding that Forest Whittaker and Morgan Freeman took on the roles of Idi Amin and Nelson Mandela, respectively.
By: Kristin Myers