I want to tell the stories Hollywood doesn't
We need movies that mirror our diversity, says filmmaker Arnetta Randall
There has been a lot of talk in Hollywood about being inclusive to women and people of colour. While that may be a soundbite for those who want to seem liberal, it means something entirely different for those who exist in the margins. The power of representation in entertainment is immeasurable. This was illustrated in January when Oprah made headlines for her Golden Globes speech, in which she began talking about how powerful it was for her to see Sidney Poitier, a black man, win the Oscar for best actor.
After her speech, I couldn’t help but think back to how magical it was for me to see Rudy Huxtable, a black girl like me, on the Cosby show, or the power of discovering The L Word and Noah’s Arc in college when examining my own sexuality. I thought about how amazing it is to see Olivia Pope or Annalise Keating, beautiful, intelligent, black women on network television. Even though Hollywood has come a long way, it still has far to go before our television screens mirror the diverse society we live in.
As an artist, I think it’s important to create the art I want to see. For my first film, Kismet I wanted to see lesbians fall in love. I felt like most films I’d seen dealt with coming out stories. While those stories are important, where are the stories for the women who are already out? I wanted to see a lighthearted romantic comedy with women of colour, so I made one. With my latest project, a web-series entitled Hook-Ups, my inspiration was the same. I’m writing the characters that I don’t get to see very often.
I wanted to create a queer web-series with people of colour that felt honest. I wanted to see a story about a dark skin, voluptuous black woman, so I wrote episode 3. I read a lot about femmephobia, so I wrote episode 5 that follows an effeminate gay man. I wanted to use comedy as a means to explore identity, gender, and sexuality. Hook-Ups showcases people from various gender expressions and sexual orientations. The goal of Hook-Ups is to show that no matter how we identify, we all want to find love.
Arnetta Randall is a graduate of the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign with a degree in creative writing. She is an avid blogger with articles published in various online publications. She is a self-published author of the book, Stereotypically Me. You can like her on Facebook to follow her latest news. She is currently working on a queer web-series entitled, Hook-Ups.
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