Charles Officer challenges Canadian film and TV to make meaningful space for diverse stories

"Just because you got let in the door doesn't mean the actual system is going to allow you to move forward and that is what I believe is reflected in the industry."

'Just because you got let in the door doesn't mean the actual system is going to allow you to move forward'

(CBC Arts)

At last week's AGO Creative Minds, award-winning filmmaker and director of The Skin We're In Charles Officer challenged the Canadian film and television industry to look beyond simply diverse hiring and examine the systems that hold people back and push people away once they're hired.

As he pointed out: "Just because you got let in the door doesn't mean the actual system is going to allow you to move forward and that is what I believe is reflected in the industry."

Watch the video:

At AGO Creative Minds, filmmaker Charles Officer challenged the Canadian film and television industry to look beyond simply diverse hiring and examine the systems that hold people back once they're in the door. 1:31

Officer questions the industry's dedication to following through on the change that its leaders claim to be pursuing. "If you are trying to make change then you have to participate. It's not enough to [just] say it — not in these times when we have all this incredible talent and voices."

He challenged those in positions of power to do better and give space for diverse stories and voices to have an opportunity to be seen and heard. "I'm asking the broadcasters, the programmers, the executives to look at your slate of what you're actually green-lighting, and if you can't actually provide this amount of space for these x amount of stories and experiences...well, that's the problem."

"You gotta allow the space and allow these stories to actually have an opportunity."

The conversation Officer was a part of at AGO Creative Minds explored art's place in revealing truth in the age of fake news and filter bubbles. Officer was joined by award-winning author Salman Rushdie, thought provoking performance artist Andrea Fraser and Juno-nominated musician IsKwé

Watch the full conversation:

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.