Soledad O’Brien on #OscarsSoWhite: Why Did It Take So Long to Have This Discussion?

Soledad O’Brien on #OscarsSoWhite: Why Did It Take So Long to Have This Discussion?

The Hollywood Reporter

Soledad O’Brien, Founder and CEO
Starfish Media Group

Soledad O’Brien
Getty Images

In my experience, diversity doesn’t just “happen.” It has to be very intentional. People have to have a genuine desire to make a change.

It’s hard to tell what’s going to happen this time around. There are some bright signs, including the fledgling efforts of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. And, most importantly, there is an active, honest conversation going on…

…I was raised by a white dad and black mom for whom dating and marriage were legally impossible in Baltimore in 1958 — so they drove to D.C. to get married, then lived in a fairly hostile environment toward mixed-race couples. That sense of isolation never stopped them, and it’s certainly helped me to deal with some very typical racism in my career: being dismissed as the “affirmative action” hire, being left out of opportunities. I’m not complaining. It’s the way it is and it was up to me to try to excel anyway. And, later, as a reporter I found it interesting to interview people who felt that way and try to understand their perspective. But that doesn’t mean the frustration didn’t build, and in my case, as that of many others, it eventually forces you to speak out. It also encourages you to do what you can to make it better.

In my case, I now run a production company called Starfish Media Group that strives to tell the untold stories of people of diverse backgrounds….

Read the entire article here.

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