If you haven't watched the video clip of Ellen Pompeo calling out Porter Magazine for its lack of diversity then stop what you're doing and watch it right now. I'm sure you can take 30 minutes out of your day to listen to an enriching and refreshing interview on the wage gap, women in Hollywood, and the overwhelming lack of color.
Have you watched it? Good, now we can get to why it's so important. My first question after watching the video was: what is Ellen Pompeo saying about herself, about other people and about the lack of color problem we still have today? Well, she answers just that when she states that she "wants the set to look like the world she walks through every day." You can hear the disappointment in her voice and you can see the reaction of Gabrielle Union and Gina Rodriquez. It is an expression of gratitude and relief - as if to say 'thank you for saying what we're all thinking.'
See we've grown a lot as a society, culture, and country but it doesn't stop here. We need to continue to strive for diversity and speak for those who feel voiceless. Sexism and racism still divide us today and its people like Ellen Pompeo, who need to speak up. She doesn't have anything to lose and she states that as one of the reason that she needs to open this conversation.
What I enjoy most about this interview is that Gina Rodriquez and Gabrielle Union show their support and begin to speak on the topic after Ellen Pompeo opens the conversation. Union even states that she doesn't want to appear as "the ungrateful brown person" in any setting. It was not only empowering but necessary for Pompeo to make room for this kind of conversation to occur during an interview such as this. She used her solid place in society and career to speak up for those that lack a voice. She spoke up so that women like Gina Rodriquez and Gabrielle Union could as well. Privilege doesn't only benefit the person who has it, especially when they use it in situations like this. You see the fight for representation and diversity doesn't just rely on the hands of those affected, if that was so then slavery would have never ended, women still wouldn't have the right to vote and gay marriage wouldn't be legalized.
Battles must be fought by not those just affected by it, but especially by those who are not. We need to do better as a society and stand up for those that keep getting kicked down. Ellen Pompeo didn't care how uncomfortable it made everyone in the room, rather she knew how important using her privilege was and used it. She is obviously not the first person to use her place in society to bring up the diversity issue but rather she refreshed the conversation. She didn't hold back and she let her emotions flow. It was a sincere reaction, in my opinion, despite what others might think. She both angry and upset as she has observed the toll it takes on people of color, especially witnessing it as the mother of biracial children.
I think that Gina Rodriquez sums up the need for more diversity and people of color in a beautiful way. She states that life is "just so much more enriching" when you can experience 'color'. Differences are what make our world so incredible and unique. So stand up and ignore how uncomfortable a topic might make you, your friends and even your family members, feel. Speak for those who can't and defend those who are targeted everyday for the color of their skin. So, thank you to the women who understand their privilege and use it to empower others, for those are individuals we should look up to.