Despite the monetary proof that diversity sells movies, Hollywood still has issues with giving people of color an equal stake when it comes to the simplest things in the film industry. Take dialogue, for example. Every Single Word is a new Tumblr created by Welcome to Night Vale star Dylan Marron that highlights the race inequality in film by paring movies down to only those lines delivered by a person of color. (Un)surprisingly, most of the edits don’t even run for one full minute, while the films they originate from are all at least 90 times as long.
Spike Jonze’s Her (which is still a great movie mind you) is set in future Los Angeles where people of color apparently just exist to sell food, walk around in the background, or date Chris Pratt. The runtime of Her when only including dialogue spoken by people of color is a whopping 36 seconds. Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom has but three lines of dialogue delivered by a young Indian boy, coming in at a 10 second runtime.
Noah, Darren Aronofsky’s biblical passion project, does not have a single line not spoken by a white person. That ranks up there among the most egregious, as Hollywood continues to ignore the fact that most people alive in biblical times weren’t white, especially not when the story takes place in Egypt.
It’s also worth noting the types of roles most of these characters have. In the romantic comedy Enough Said, there’s only a Hispanic house cleaner. In Weddings Crashers, a few Chinese guests played for stupidity, and a Jamaican butler.
Check out some of the videos below, and see more at Every Single Word. Stay tuned for more of the slow unveiling of Hollywood’s deep-seeded diversity issues.