Star Wars: The Force Awakens touted one of the most diverse casts of any of the recent blockbuster films. And it wasn’t just the lead roles; women and people of color were well represented in supporting and background roles too. Well now director J.J. Abrams and his production company, Bad Robot, have put in place strategic hiring systems that require the lists of candidates that movie studios and agencies submit for consideration, be proportional and representative of the U.S. population. This includes writers, directors, and producers, not just actors. Abrams is really trying to change Hollywood from the inside out, and has pointed out “that too few women and minorities are involved in the Hollywood filmmaking process.”
While it is great to see J.J. Abrams become one of the pioneers in Hollywood with his hiring practices, this does leave us with some questions about how it may shape his future projects and films. What does this mean for the universes he builds? How may this change the way they look and feel and the overall way he makes his movies? However, he’s already known for casting and hiring diverse talent, so will the common fan even notice a difference? After all, the purpose is to improve the way films and TV are made, make it more appealing to all and as Abrams said, “representative of the country we live in. “
Some people think that especially in fictional or fantasy worlds, we can make people look however we want them to look and it’s no big deal. Angela Bassett is one of them and shared her opinion on the topic with Larry King.
Even Morgan Freeman, the Voice of God, weighed in on the subject. You can watch the clip below where he discusses the issue of diversity in Hollywood and where the industry as a whole needs to be headed. Looks like he’d be a big supporter of J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot’s new hiring systems.