Something that’s been on my mind lately…
When we talk about embracing and fostering creator diversity in media, it’s important to remember that this does not mean dismissing current creators as though they are somehow “half-assing” their craft due to some level of privilege. To do that does a disservice to all creators.
Embracing diversity is also not about filling some kind of artificial quota. That, too, does a disservice to all creators. The best work should always be out in the world.
The point of increased diversity is to deepen the pool from which we discover the best work. To ensure that all talent has a chance to rise to the top. Because opportunities are not always equal. This might be systemic. It might be outdated tradition. It might be cultural bias. By casting our nets wider, we can find new voices that drive all of us forward. That inspire us to ourselves be better.
However, it occurs to me as I type this, that even this is not the whole truth.
Increasing diversity also forces us to challenge the idea of what it means to be “the best.” We accept that in art there is no single objective truth when it comes to the stories that thrill and captivate us. But even so, when art is biased toward a monolithic culture, we tend to gravitate toward similar trends, call upon similar influences. When we include into the mix new voices, art created from new perspectives, we gain a better insight into what “the best” can be.
We don’t have to like everything. We don’t have to consume everything. But to see a wide variety of stories and art from a diverse swath of creators is to broaden our understanding and to judge our craft from a place that better resembles the human race.