Queen Latifah, Viola Davis, Orange Is the New Black cast talk diversity at SAG awards
On stage and in the press room, actors speak their minds about what diversity means in Hollywood
Diversity in Hollywood remained a topic for questions put to many actors who came through the SAG awards press room after winning an award Saturday.
The Netflix series about a women's prison prides itself on a strong female cast with diverse voices. DeLaria, who has been openly gay for decades, also plays an openly gay inmate on the show.
Concerns over the lack of representation on screen, particularly in film, has been dominating social media since the Academy Award nominations came out Jan. 14. The acting categories had all-white nominees for the second year in a row, sparking the popular hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.
The SAG awards showed more diversity in its slate of nominees and eventual winners, which has only cast a larger spotlight on the Oscars.
"I think some of it was already happening but the public has to continue to demand that," she said backstage. "We are in a capitalist society so hopefully supply and demand will kick back in. The people want it. Give it to the people."
"We have become a society of trending topics," she said. "Diversity is not a trending topic. It's just not. I see myself as an actor. No matter what is going on in the business, I will find a way to practise my art."
She argued that a more productive approach to initiate change in the business is to "plop your money down" to see films such as Dope, Selma and Straight Outta Compton.
"That's more important than boycotting [the Oscars], is openness," she told reporters.