HALLMARK, N.J. — “What to watch” has been a favorite subject of late, as Hollywood has undergone a seismic shift.
The pendulum has swung back to the mainstream, and the entertainment industry has embraced more diverse voices.
Now, what’s on TV, in movies and movies and more movies is no longer all white men and boys.
But the question is whether the pendulum will swing back again.
“I think it’s time to have a more open conversation about what Hollywood means to us,” said Kevin James, a professor of media studies at Syracuse University.
James says that when it comes to the role of race in Hollywood, the pendulous pendulum is swinging back.
“The industry that is now dominated by white males, they’re going to need to come back to that model,” James said.
“It’s the model that we’ve been looking for for a long time, and now they are starting to see that.”
James is a professor at Syracuse’s Media, Communications and Public Affairs Program, which specializes in cultural diversity.
He has been studying the role race plays in Hollywood for nearly a decade.
In the past few years, he has been tracking the rise of more diverse portrayals of race and ethnicity in films and TV.
“What we’ve seen over the last several years, particularly in films, is that the portrayal of African-Americans has risen dramatically, and African-American representation has increased dramatically,” James told CBS News.
“What I have seen in my research, which is really in the last few years has been that the representation of Latinos and Asian-Americans and others in the media has increased significantly.”
James said that he has also noticed an increase in the amount of time spent on diversity.
“Over the past 10 years, there has been an increase of time dedicated to diversity in the entertainment media,” James explained.
“In fact, I’ve found that people are spending more time watching diverse media,” he said.
James said there is also a growing number of people who are willing to make a more inclusive portrayal of themselves in movies.
“There are certainly more diverse people who have been exposed to more diverse media, which, again, is really a very important change,” James added.
James has also seen a rise in Hollywood’s use of social media to reach more diverse audiences.
“When I first started to study this in the early 2000s, we had very limited avenues to reach people,” James says.
“Now there are a lot more avenues available to us, and it’s a huge benefit to reach out to those who are more diverse, who are not white, who might be more politically engaged, who have different cultural backgrounds.”
It’s important to recognize that, as you look at the way that entertainment is being represented, you’re not necessarily looking at what is or isn’t representative of who you are,” he added.