Kerry Washington On Diversity Issues In Hollywood: ‘We’re Still Centering Whiteness’

“When we say we're committed to diversity — it's diverse from what?”

With conversations about diversity and inclusion being held after social justice protests occur around the nation, award-winning actress Kerry Washington thinks that the topic of “language” should be on the table when speaking about inclusivity and diversity in Hollywood. 

Appearing on the premiere episode of the podcast Hollywood the Sequel, Washington spoke about the current state of the entertainment industry in the wake of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. 

“When we say we're committed to diversity — it's diverse from what? We're still centering whiteness as the most important thing and inviting diversity around that," the American Son actress said. "Or when we talk about inclusivity, there's still an in and an out. So, we're still centering certain kinds of people and maybe in tiny fractions allowing other people to the table. There's just so much of it that needs to reexamined. The simple answer is ... I hope a lot of good [comes out of it] and that we can see each other, and have courage to make room for each other."

Speaking on what she hopes her world of Hollywood can get out of the movement, Washington says that a “more radical acceptance of anti-racist society, policies and culture,” should be in order. 

"I think what people are realizing is that it's not enough to just not be racist — that because our institution were built in the fabric of racism, because our country was born with Black Americans being designated a fraction of a human being —  it's not enough to just not be racist, we have to be actively antiracist and for that desire to come from a deep understanding that we all deserve full rights of humanity,” she said. 

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