Love Island isn’t the only show that lacks variety, however, it is a popular topic right now and one that has inspired this blog post.
It is difficult to avoid being inclusive with cancel culture being the go-to action for anyone who sleeps on those who are not white, straight, slim and able-bodied.
Diversity and inclusion is a conversation we are all having, and although all the talk is great, it is important to take action. Some have taken action and many have failed, I want to get into why I think that is.
Why the need for diversity and inclusion?
In a time where underrepresented individuals have a voice and the platform to voice their concerns, issues, and experiences, it is very difficult to ignore the topic of diversity and inclusion.
Diversity and inclusion is so much more than just ticking a few boxes and getting people involved. When it comes to being inclusive, simply wanting to be more diverse isn’t enough.
Reasons Why So Many Have Failed?
A Lack of Care
A huge reason why some have failed, is because there is nobody there to make sure that the individuals that have been cast and featured, are well looked after. With mental health being such an important topic it is imperative that the diverse individuals that are being hired/cast/featured are cared for. These people that are being hired may have already been subject to racism, body shaming, abuse, discrimination and mistreatment, this will mean extra and more specific care is needed.
As much as the comment from Love Island Creative Director insinuating that big/fat people cannot be seen as attractive was wild, I really had to look at the show for what it is. We also need to remember that the same show we are calling out for their lack of diversity, is the same show that is only now taking it’s aftercare seriously. This show didn’t understand the importance of support and care for those who look like them, and yet we want more people who look like us on there?
We really have to ask ourselves if throwing ourselves into spaces that do not care for our well-being, for the sake of representation, is worth it? Also are we opening the door for others, or if we are just taking the spot for our own self gratification and to give these companies a false sense of achievement?
Lack of Understanding
Diversity and inclusion within spaces that are not equipped or understanding of the importance of representation doesn’t mean anything. There really has to be people involved in the casting, directing, producing and creating side of things to ensure that those who are picked to carry the message of diversity and inclusion are generally cared for, valued and understood.
Inclusion meaning to be included, is something that is really lacking. Bringing people in so to speak, without thinking about how those people can be included is a major mistake.
A lack of this understanding and care results in further exposure to mistreatment and leaves underrepresented individuals vulnerable. It also makes it harder for underrepresented individuals to want to be involved in campaigns, adverts, shows etc. Knowing what they will be exposed to, as well as being in a room with people who just don’t get it or God forbid “don’t see colour“.