The Expansion of Diversity in Hollywood

Clarion pictures Warner Brothers Images

Clarion pictures Warner Brothers Images

By Graham Jones and James Roach

In 2018, Hollywood finally took a chance and produced films starring diverse casts such as “The Meg, “Black Panther” , and “Crazy Rich Asians.” Each movie had huge box office results and received critical acclaim. Because of this, a shockwave went through Hollywood and showed producers that films starring actors and actresses of different races can not only be popular, but also rake in tons of money. The only question left now is whether filmmakers will continue to make films like this to create a better and more equal world, or are they going to continue making these films so they can get a bigger box office buck?

There is no doubt that films with diverse leads and casts will continue being made. Films like “The Hate U Give”, “Widows”, “Creed II”, and “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” prove that they aren’t going anywhere. The outcry for racially diverse blockbusters started with “Black Panther” earlier this year and continued with “Crazy Rich Asians” this summer. Both films not only provided an entertaining watch, but also presented a message about race.

Sadly, that may not be the case for other films like “The Meg” and “Mile 22,” which both featured casts with many famous asian actors. It is a well-known fact that for many American films, a large part of their income comes from China. “Pacific Rim Uprising” bombed in America, but made its budget back from foreign countries, most of it from China. Unsurprisingly, 60 percent of the cast were minorities, which once again begs the question, are companies just using people of color to drag in wider audiences?

“The Meg” and “Mile 22” are both big-scale action movies with vital Asian roles. “Mile 22,” an action film about a paramilitary team who has to transport a foreign intelligence asset over dangerous grounds, was only created to feature foreign action superstar Iko Uwais. This makes “Mile 22” come off as more of a passion project than a cash grab, especially since it’s only made $9 million dollars.

The Meg” on the other hand, may not have as good of an alibi. To start off, the entire film takes place in a Japanese city that plays no part in the actual plot of the film. It’s also clear that all the actors are in the movie to make more money. Jason Statham movies are always crazy action films that bring in plenty of cash and all of the foreign supporting roles are noticeable faces in China. Unsurprisingly, “The Meg” made bank outside of America. As Hollywood begins to see that audiences want to see all colors of the rainbow, they can only see the color green in their eyes.

 As much as the population would like to see a much more diverse Hollywood, it should be for the right reason, not just to add to the already bank-busting amount of money they already have. I hope we’ll start seeing more movies like “Crazy Rich Asians” and “BlacKKKlansman” that feature actors of multiple races for the sake of creating a better world, and less movies like “The Meg” that do this just for the cash.