As Black Lives Matter protests and marches have continued throughout the week, with increased incidents of police brutality, Hollywood has given mixed reactions. Some studios just put out anodyne corporate statements, while others have donated money to social justice causes.
Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch sent a company-wide memo supporting peaceful protests. He said his company’s culture “embraces and fosters diversity and inclusion.” This comes as a surprise to many media analysts. They say Fox News programs and hosts Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity have sowed seeds of division with years of racially-inflamed rhetoric.
CNN host Don Lemon challenged Hollywood elite to do more than watch TV. He pushed them to come out and help young protestors. Actor Jamie Foxx sent a similar message from a Black Lives Matter rally in San Francisco.
Some in the industry have shown up to protests, including actors Keke Palmer (“Hustlers”) and John Boyega (“Star Wars”), who both made powerful speeches. Boyega questioned the viability of his career after speaking out. Directors including Jordan Peele, Rian Johnson, and Phil Lord spoke up on Twitter, saying they would work with Boyega and others who have been active in protests.
But the people who often make casting decisions sit in high-ranking corporate jobs at studios, a place where there’s been little improvement in diversity among executive ranks.