Writer and performer Dylan Marron exposes a glaring problem in popular cinema, extracting and splicing every line spoken by people of colour in well-loved films in his latest project. When subjected to the Every Single Word Spoken by a Person of Colour treatment, the likes of ‘Her,’ ‘(500) Days of Summer’ and ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ come out looking like 50 Shades of Mayonnaise, being at most 30 seconds long when you remove the disproportionate amount of screen-time given to white actors.
Perhaps even more disturbingly, Marron notes that most of the roles given to actors of colour exist primarily as either the butt of racist jokes (see ‘Wedding Crashers,’ ‘American Hustle’) or as members of the service industry ( e.g. ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ ‘Black Swan,’ ‘Frances Ha’). Marron probably says it best with the observation, “when you have people of colour as protagonists, the story is about their colour. With white people, it’s never about their whiteness.”
The films Marron has selected so far, certainly wouldn’t be the only ones to fail the test miserably, highlighting Hollywood’s huge issue depicting diversity on screen.