HOLLYWOOD, December 18, 2014 – Fortunately for the rest of America, Al Sharpton has set his razor sharp focus on one of the greatest injustices of our time: the unacceptable racial make up of the major Hollywood studios. Soon we’ll be able to know this historical wrong is in the process of being righted.
The context is the discovery that Sony Pictures computers had been hacked and, specifically, that some racially-insensitive emails were leaked. The exchange, between executive Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin, joked about President Obama only watching black-themed movies. Both have publicly apologized for the comments.
Enter Sharpton, and also, it seems, the Urban League and the NAACP.
In order to show proper deference to the race police, apparently Sharpton and the others were invited in to evaluate and discuss the emails and other race-related issues.
A couple of important points to consider:
Given that the people involved had apologized Sony will certainly make its own determinations about the consequences, if any, for their less than artful employees.
So why is Sharpton involved?
If he was invited merely for the optics of being seen as cooperative with “black leaders,” that’s nothing more than symbolism. If he was not invited and somehow interjected himself, wouldn’t it be wonderful if he were told to mind his own business and that he could run his own movie studio, which he is free to launch at anytime, in the way of his choosing.
Furthermore, considering Sharpton’s comments about the “whiteness” of the Hollywood’s executive suites, why is its racial make-up an issue? If there’s no assertion of race-based hiring decisions or other sorts of discrimination within the company, what exactly is the point? There’s no good reason to expect that the racial makeup of any particular business would reflect any sort of pattern, let alone suggest that there is some sort of target or preferred level.
As Dr. Thomas Sowell has pointed out in several of his books on race and culture, there’s no reason to expect that the racial makeup of a particular business or industry would reflect that of the surrounding area or the country as a whole.
One need only look at professional basketball or hockey as examples of high-profile businesses whose racial makeups do not reflect the country.
Why would Sharpton suggest that the Hollywood movie studio needs fewer whites while not suggesting the same about the professional hockey rink? One would be wise to think it has only to do with the fact that one allows the opportunity for bullying and grandstanding whereas the other would not.