Ed’s let­ter

Empire (UK) - - FRONT PAGE - Terri White

As I write this, the world Is gear­ing up for the os­cars; as you read this, the cer­e­mony will have hap­pened. while nor­mally a hot­bed of de­bate around who’s been robbed, who didn’t de­serve it, who did, what his­tory will re­mem­ber and what it will for­get, this year it’s taken a dif­fer­ent turn. un­less you’ve been nes­tled un­der a rock, you’ll know the awards have been mired in con­tro­versy, with some ac­tors boy­cotting the event and oth­ers plan­ning to at­tend but pub­licly crit­i­cis­ing the Academy for the lack of diver­sity in the nom­i­na­tions. wher­ever you stand on the de­bate — and I per­son­ally sup­port those tak­ing a stand for what they see as a hugely con­cern­ing lack of rep­re­sen­ta­tion — it’s an is­sue that hol­ly­wood needs to recog­nise and ad­dress. our world has never been richer, more com­plex or more di­verse, and this needs to be mir­rored in the world of movies. whether it’s in film­mak­ers who break through, ac­tors who bag lead roles, those who re­ceive awards nods or au­di­ences who see these movies, there has to be a greater ef­fort to en­sure all gen­ders, races, eth­nic­i­ties and sex­u­al­i­ties are firstly present and vis­i­ble and sec­ondly cel­e­brated. Aren’t movies at their best when they don’t just al­low an es­cape from our ev­ery­day life but also hold a mir­ror up to it? Isn’t that when they’re at their most beau­ti­ful, bru­tal and rev­e­la­tory? they should say some­thing about the time we’re liv­ing in, and live on long af­ter all of us, as a his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ment that speaks loudly about the time in which they were made.

And when it comes to the world of movies, in so many ways there has truly never been a more ex­cit­ing time for the­atri­cal and small-screen pro­gram­ming — just look at this is­sue: the re­turn of Cap­tain America, the ar­rival of Black pan­ther, Dare­devil, The Jun­gle Book, House Of Cards, Pee-wee’s Big Hol­i­day, The Con­jur­ing 2, 10 Clover­field Lane, In­de­pen­dence Day: Resur­gence… I could go on. there have never been more places to see this amaz­ing stuff, at any time you choose. so yeah, we’ve got it pretty damned good. re­ally, we do. But we could have it bet­ter. specif­i­cally, we could all have it bet­ter. And by the time the os­cars 2017 comes around, the con­ver­sa­tion could be a dif­fer­ent one en­tirely. here’s hop­ing, right?

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