Kerry Washington: We're still centering whiteness

Actress Kerry Washington has opened up about Hollywood’s diversity problem, saying that the industry is “still centring whiteness as the most important thing.

Washington, 43, opened up about inclusion and diversity while discussing the entertainment industry in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery on the podcast Hollywood The Sequel, reports people.com.

“We look at ourselves to get better and do better,” said the actress when asked what she hopes will come out of the movement, which calls out racism in the arts.

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She continued: “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. 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 be 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.”

Washington feels though the world has awakened by protests against systematic racism, “not much has changed for black people in the last couple of weeks”.

“There’s a different response to it. The sentiments of the moment that feel revelatory — I don’t feel like those feelings belong to me,” Washington said.

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“This is not a moment of revelation, but I’m watching the revelation around me for people, and I’m grateful that the world is showing up for black lives in a different way, but this is what has been the reality — this level of danger and anger and fear. Maybe trauma and lack of safety — this has been the reality of Black Americans since there were Black Americans,” said the mother of two.

Washington admitted that “it feels for me like something is different”.

“We have to be willing to look at ourselves, regardless of what industry we’re in,” she added.

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–IANS

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