On Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter published a group discussion with a panel of potential female award contenders as part of its annual Actress Roundtable cover story. An hour later, the publication issued a preemptive “mea culpa” for the fact that all the actresses on their panel happened to be white.
THR executive editor Stephen Galloway sat down with actresses Carey Mulligan, Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Jane Fonda, Brie Larson, Helen Mirren, Charlotte Rampling, and Kate Winslet – all of whom have projects contending for an Academy Award or an Emmy in the coming year.
The interview was everything you would expect from a group of actresses speaking off the cuff to a publication that’s been covering the entertainment industry since the 1930s.
However, due to the current politically correct climate in Hollywood and the country at large, Galloway felt the need to immediately clarify why there were no minority women in a roundtable discussion with award contenders – a pool which includes few minorities in 2016.
In an essay titled “Why Every Actress on The Hollywood Reporter Roundtable Cover Is White,” Galloway explained the omission, writing, “as we prepared for this cover, we discovered precisely ZERO actresses of color in the Oscar conversation.”
While conceding that he doesn’t “wish to diminish the actresses on our cover,” Galloway expressed his disgust at the lack of diversity in his panel:
Yet even for me, a white man, it was impossible to ignore the fact that every one of these women is white — whether old or young, English, Australian or American. That was appalling. The awful truth is that there are no minority actresses in genuine contention for an Oscar this year. Straight Outta Compton, which has provided some great roles for African-American men (and whose success adds proof that studios ignore minority audiences at their peril) had no female leads.
“If there were far more minority men and women to choose from, this sort of hand-wringing would never exist. And it’s about time it changed,” Galloway asserted.
The executive editor concluded, “Unless the half-dozen men and women now running the major studios demand and foster a culture of diversity, the status quo will continue as it is.”
Until that time comes, Galloway promised, “I’ll be writing a mea culpa every year.”