Michelle Rodriguez, star of the hit Fast and Furious franchise, stoked the fires of controversy this weekend. As previously reported by the Inqusitr, Rodriguez’s blunder came when a photographer asked about rumors that she had been cast in an upcoming Green Lantern film. In response, Rodriguez said the following.
“I think it’s so stupid … because of this whole, like, ‘minorities in Hollywood’ thing … it’s so stupid, it’s, like, stop stealing all the white people’s superheroes. Make up your own, you know what I’m saying? What’s up with that?”
Many cried foul over Rodriguez’s comments, some even accused the 36-year-old actress of being racist. Though not everyone views Rodriguez’s comments as out of line.
Well said Michelle Rodriguez!
— Steve (@NI_Gunner) March 1, 2015
Can Michelle Rodriguez go shoot another 3 star Fast and Furious movie instead of complaining about PoC’s potential career moves?
— zharia (@lookatzhargo) March 1, 2015
Michelle Rodriguez is the ignorant of the week. And the week is still young. Joseph Campbell is turning in his grave. #ReadBeforeYouSpeak
— mizztotal (@mizztotal) March 1, 2015
Michelle Rodriguez’s challenge to Hollywood http://t.co/r4hfrUEr6k
— Link Kelly (@linklewis) March 1, 2015
After the controversy flared, Rodriguez apologized and attempted to clarify her comments.
“What I really meant was, ultimately at the end of the day there’s a language. And the language that you speak in Hollywood is successful franchise. And I think that there are many cultures in Hollywood that are not white that can come up with their own mythology… I’m just saying that instead of trying to turn a girl character into a guy or instead of trying to turn a white character into a black character or Latin character, I think that people should stop being lazy, and that people should actually make an effort in Hollywood to develop their own mythology.
A celebrity putting their foot in their mouth and then rapidly backpedaling is nothing new in Hollywood. In fact, it’s an almost daily occurrence. But does Michelle Rodriguez have a point?
On the heels of what was dubbed by the Daily Beast as the “whitest Oscars since 1998“, can anyone say with any degree of legitimacy that Hollywood doesn’t have a diversity problem?
According to L.A. Weekly, a 2014 report from the UCLA Ralph J. Bunche Center for African-American Studies determined that “out of 172 movies and more than 1,000 television shows, about one in 10 leading roles in films went to minorities, and about one in 20 leading roles in scripted television went to people of color.”
The situation may be worse in film. In a recent appearance on the ScriptNotes podcast, Empire writer Malcolm Spellman said there were “something like 40 something movies about predominately black people, three black screenwriters.”
Hollywood may have a diversity problem. Michelle Rodriguez has admitted to having a problem with speaking before she thinks. The reality is that neither problem is likely to be solved soon.