Vidlings & Tapeheads has been on a corona-induced hiatus, our 2020 fest pushed to 2021, but I want to make clear to our community that we unequivocally stand with Black Lives Matter, recognizing and condemning the ongoing police brutality and systemic racism against black and brown people in the United States.
V&T promotes underrepresented voices in film, music, and art—this is core to our mission—but I know we can do better. Black voices are too often marginalized and minimized in film in particular. According to a UCLA Social Sciences study on Hollywood Diversity in 2018, “[of] 151 broadcast, cable, and digital shows from the 2015-2016 season, people of color held only 13.9% percent of lead film roles, 12.6% percent of director roles, and 8.1% percent as film writers (Hunt et. al., 2018).
Over the past month I’ve been educating myself more thoroughly on these issues and agree that it is not enough to be non-racist, one must be anti-racist. Implicit bias is real and requires education and introspection, among other things, to recognize and combat. Systemic racism is by definition entrenched and will require all of our sustained efforts to dismantle.
Below are just a few resources (which include links to many more) for education on these issues as well as opportunities for action. V&T is investigating initiatives and best practices so that we can further promote diversity and equality in our programming. We must all challenge ourselves to explore and evolve for the sake of the one world we all share.
Jerry White Jr.
Founder and Director, Vidlings & Tapeheads Film Festival