Diversity in the Media


Disney Movies

Black Panther released this year and is well known for its diversity in the cast.

Mabel Ra, Editor

Throughout history, diversity has always posed a serious topic. In the late 19th century, diversity did not exist in school settings. In the mid 20th century, due to a lack of diversity of religion, there was a mass genocide against Jewish people. Flash forward to the modern day, and there still exists a severe lack of diversity in the media.


Perhaps one of the most influential platforms for young children today, the media plays a significant role in shaping kids’ views of the world and themselves. However, when there is not enough representation for different ethnicities, it may cause harmful consequences. For instance, main characters tend to be predominantly Caucasian, with other ethnicities often landing the role of supporting characters. Furthermore, these supporting characters may be associated with a racial stigma. For instance, many Asian actors are usually depicted as the “nerdy” friend with no protagonist journey; they are simply on the sidelines, rooting for the main protagonist and often offering comedic relief. When the media does not choose to embrace different ethnicities and people of different backgrounds, people begin to question their own identities. If a certain ethnicity is always portrayed in a specific manner, does that mean that people with this ethnicity are also destined to have similar worth? Do they not have a shot at being the protagonist of a story?


However, many viewers are eager to anticipate upcoming diversity in the media. Consequently, these viewers may better relate to the characters and seek justice for equality. Just last month, the Black Panther was released, empowering people everywhere, as the movie was cast with predominantly African Americans actors. These characters in the movie are fierce, being great protagonists and antagonists, fighting for Wakanda with such impressive courage and strength. Alyssa Pepito (11) agrees and sees diversity as “a necessity and hopefully more common in the future.”


Furthermore, another movie with a great diverse cast has been released. A Wrinkle in Time is directed by an African American woman (who also directed the very successful movie, Selma) Ava DuVernay, and the movie is full of a wonderfully diverse group of people. Ava DuVernay states that “[she] just wanted a cast that reflects the real world.” With actors and actresses like Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Mindy Kaling, Storm Reid, and Gugu Mbatha-raw, this diverse cast helped empower the movie with strong, powerful people of all different ethnicities.


In conclusion, diversity in the media has not always been found; however, it is incredibly important, as the media plays a highly powerful and influential role in our society. With the success of recently released and diverse movies such as A Wrinkle in Time and The Black Panther, people are hopeful for the continuous release of movies with many different ethnicities represented equally.