Author : Sumona Chetia
The new superheroes added to the Marvel universe makes a dream team of power and persona. What stands out most is the diversity!
Eternals, the new Marvel movie, is an ensemble of a multi-ethnic cast, the representation of powerful female characters, and the inclusion of the first gay and first deaf Marvel superheroes. Not to miss, it is also the first Marvel movie to be directed by a woman of Asian descent.
Hollywood has been grappling with the issue of the lack of representation behind and in front of the camera. The movie Eternals offers a whole lot and more. It is refreshingly diverse and inclusive. And is believed to set the ball rolling for more diversely inclusive movies.
The entertainment industry is arguably one of the most impactful mediums that shape thoughts, beliefs and society at large. And thus, the need for diversity in movies is more vital than ever. Including, portraying, and accurately representing diversity through storytelling means making viewers aware of people of different races and backgrounds. On-screen diversity helps people to know, learn and become more accepting.
Netflix Inc.’s movies and shows have paved the way for diversifying Hollywood. A report showed that the number of female-led projects at Netflix (52% of its content) surpasses the industry as a whole. It also reported gender parity, with 48% of films and 54% of series having girls or women as leads or co-leads. While shows like House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Bridgerton featured the underrepresented voices, programs like Sex Education shed the spotlight on real and intelligently written representation of queer and non-binary characters. The coming years look promising, but sustained progress is what should be aimed at. Enough has been said about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion not being just nice to have but must-haves. Time to walk the talk!
Coming back to the motion pictures industry. Eternals movie is a huge step forward for diversity and inclusivity in the film industry. The inclusion of a deaf superhero played by a deaf actress has offered much-needed focus and visibility to the deaf community. It is a rare feat in itself. The icing to the cake is the explicit representation of an LGBTQ superhero happily married with a young son. It’s a first in the Marvel universe.
All in all, Eternals is not only about varied races and ethnicity. It is also about abilities and sexual orientation representing the beauty of diverse humanity living in this equally diverse world.
To sum up:
1) Netflix outperforms Hollywood in terms of diversity and inclusion, but big wins remain
2) Eternals movie can be a game changer to how Hollywood represents Diversity
3) Abundant diverse and inclusive viewing content means catering to an audience who feel belonged and represented
4) More authentic portrayal of unrepresented voices and communities
5) Work with an inclusion lens both in front and behind the camera
We hope for a time when exemplary movies like Eternals become the norm, and the need to hype a diverse cast like this is a no need.