After George Floyd, an unarmed African American man, died while in police custody on May 25, people across the United States took to the streets. The protests – peaceful and otherwise – have also once again shone a light on a societal issue that extends beyond borders.
5月25日，手无寸铁的美国非裔男子乔治·弗洛伊德在警方执法拘押时身亡，此后，全美各地的人们走上街头抗议。这些抗议 —— 不论和平与否 —— 都再次反映了一个不仅是美国才有的社会问题。
In countries around the world, this recent event has sparked awareness of racial injustices and recently we have seen statues toppled, a call to legal reform and even a focus on inequality within the film industry. Indeed, this issue is not one that has just rippled through the streets, but impacted how we perceive elements in popular culture, raising the question, “Should we re-think how we’ve previously perceived films, TV shows and various other media?”
As one example, Gone With the Wind, long since regarded as a classic, has been pulled from the US streaming platform HBO Max. The 1939 film depicts images of slavery during the US Civil War, which may be considered controversial during this time. As an HBO Max spokesperson stated on CNN, “These racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without a denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible.”
其中一个例子便是早已被视为经典之作的《乱世佳人》被美国流媒体平台HBO Max下架。这部1939年的电影描绘了美国内战时期奴隶制的画面，在如今看来或许存在争议。一位HBO Max发言人向美国有线电视新闻网表示，“这些种族主义的刻画在当时与如今都是错误的，我们认为让这部电影在没有对这些描绘进行谴责的情况下保持上架，是不负责任的行为。”
In addition, the reality TV show Cops was canceled and British comedy Little Britain was removed from several streaming sites for their use of blackface – applying makeup to a non-black actor in order to represent a black person.
此外，电视真人秀节目《警察》以及英国戏剧《小不列颠》也因使用黑色面孔 —— 将非黑人演员化妆成黑人 —— 而遭到多家流媒体网站下架。
The issue of inequality within the film and television industry is not new. As a HuffPost article noted, “In the more than 90 years of the Oscars, no black director has ever won the Best Director award, no black women have been nominated in that category, and only two films by black directors have been awarded Best Picture: Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave and Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight.”
However, current circumstances have encouraged The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – the organization that awards the Oscars – to take action. The Academy recently announced a new initiative that aims to expand diversity and inclusion within the filmmaking industry.
“To truly meet this moment, we must recognize how much more needs to be done, and we must listen, learn, embrace the challenge, and hold ourselves and our community accountable,” said Academy President David Rubin.
(Translator & Editor: Wang Xingwei AND Luo Sitian)