Editor Kerry-Anne Mendoza was booed on BBCQT for highlighting the lack of diversity in the media industry. Now let's get one thing straight, if you do not listen to those that it effects you will never understand. The reaction she got booed does not stem from disbelief in her statement, but presents the attitude some have towards tackling the disparity. Although there may be a lack of diversity, because there are a few representatives of the BAME community some may view it as enough.
Those from ethnic minorities at times within such industries feel discriminated against, but often suppress this feeling. No one likes to hold the race card, because when they do, some believe it is used for the sake of it. When we face challenges which may have connection to our race, we often feel reluctant to voice our opinion on it. The reaction Kerry got is a perfect example of this, I often find when stating facts on racial issues some people just don't what to hear it. Some of these people have the power to change the disparity, but are not willing to promote the cause. Many companies pride themselves on being diverse just because they hold a few events which promotes diversity. Well I'm sorry, that is not enough! Making your employees aware of the issues around diversity does not resolve the disparity, actively going out there to network does.
People usually get booed for behaving poorly if I'm not mistaken. What shocks me is that Kerry did not lie, but may have triggered a few individuals that are not willing to understand. I believe it is tough to understand the trials and tribulations a BAME employee may go through, in an industry with little diversity. But as an outsider looking in some are most probably fed up of hearing it, as they may feel like it is simply not their problem. Now why did these white men booing feel triggered? They made the statement about them not about the clear disparity in the industry. What people need to understand is we are not discrediting their journey, nor efforts made to get into the industry. We are simply shedding light on the lack of representation, in an industry that will attempt to target BAME communities from time to time. These white men most probably assessed their journey and thought 'well if you want to get into the industry, work for it'. Not taking into consideration the lack of knowledge and motivation some minorities may experience, derived from the underrepresented within the industry. How can you boo at a valid point when you are not the one effected? This immediately showed me that those individuals made the statement about themselves.
I often find that some believe they are tackling the disparity by 'doing something for us'. Nick Ferrari claimed in defence that the power of Daily Mail helped put the killers of Stephen Lawrence behind bars. Not to discredit the lengths of that particular editors work, but how does this resolve the lack of diversity in media? Whether it be a headline, event or open panel on ethnic minorities within the creative industry; some think this is enough. Without networking and reaching out to potential candidates, these events are pointless as those they intend to target are not even present. In my last post on HuffPost, I explored various reasons as to why there may be a disparity. Some of these reasons came from culture which is not easily tackled, however if the boo-ers were willing to understand they could possibly educate themselves and others. The boos Kerry received did not shock me, but the fact people are only now seeing that some do not want to accept this disparity is what shocks me. We live in the 21st century, are companies going to continue speaking on the disparity or begin actively trying to resolve the issue?