Ava DuVernay On Diversity: ‘I Hate That Word So, So Much’ | Film News

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Ava DuVernay On Diversity: ‘I Hate That Word So, So Much’ | Film News



The debate over Hollywood’s diversity problem has only intensified over the past couple of weeks. Several people from the Hollywood elite have spoken out. Director and trailblazer Ava DuVernay, one of the most outspoken advocates for change, would however, prefer to use a different word when discussing Hollywood’s inclusion problem.


Speaking with The New York Times at the Sundance Film Festival, DuVernay revealed that she strongly dislikes the word diversity“I hate that word so, so much”.  She went on to explain that she doesn’t think the word effectively captures the entire problem. “I feel it’s a medicinal word that has no emotional resonance, and this is a really emotional issue,” she continued.


“It’s emotional for artists who are women and people of color to have less value placed on our worldview”. What would be a better word? DuVernay did put forward some suggestions, proposing “inclusion” or “belonging”. “There’s a belonging problem in Hollywood, who dictates who belongs? The very body who dictates that looks all one way”.


DuVernay also praised the Academy’s decision to widen it’s membership by dramatically increasing the number of women and minorities in it’s new members. “Change has to happen, it has to happen with the people who dictate who belongs,” DuVernay said. “It’s disconcerting to hear people say that shouldn’t change. That’s the very reason it should”.


She’s pretty spot-on. I couldn’t agree more, I applaud the Academy’s new changes and I’m glad that they’ve taken action because as DuVernay says it’s “One good step in a long, complicated journey for people of color + women artists“.



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Rachel Spencer

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