Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The diversity pass

Do writers have a responsibility to create ethnically diverse and racially non-stereotypical characters?

Yes, says Alex Epstein.

No, insists Craig Mazin.
Writers have an enormous responsibility, and that is to tell a good story. Let that be our guide. If our movie isn'’t about social justice, put the story first and all utopian visions of what the world ought to be like second.

Anything less is bad writing.
Update: John August has also joined the fray...
Unless it’s important for understanding a story point, I rarely specify a race for a character. But that’s not to say I won’t give some strong hints. I will often make the lieutenant GONZALEZ rather than GOODMAN. The internist is more likely to end up DR. CHO than DR. CHASE. The schoolteacher will be PATEL rather than PETERS.

Is it liberal guilt? No. It’s readability.

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