“Diversity Is So IN” Is My New Favorite Comedy Sketch About Diverse Media
"But Black Panther only just came out!"
When we talk about diversity in media, there is a frustrating tendency to talk about inclusion as a hot new trend instead of as steady, hard-earned progress reflecting a diverse world. It’s this kind of rhetoric that informed Netflix’s “Strong Black Lead” campaign which proclaimed, “This is not a moment, this is a movement”.
In a hilarious new skit written by CollegeHumor’s Rekha Shankar, Shankar stars as the 90s-style host of “Trend Watch” trying to get to the bottom of the “diversity trend” sweeping the nation. Shankar’s incisive portrayal of diversity as fad, rather than continual progress is phenomenal and I cackled every time she cited Black Panther.
“It’s just like all the white people in your life say, ‘Diversity is in!'” she proclaims, before consulting a few professionals about how to jump on this hip new thing. Vivian Yoon, playing sociologist Vivian Yu, points out that the world has always been diverse before Shankar’s character interjects, “Sorry, Viv, but Black Panther only just came out!” When Yu points out that saying diversity is “in” is troubling because it suggests it might one day be “out”, Shankar turns to the camera, “You heard it here first! Next week, diversity could be out.”
The same pattern repeats with two more experts played by Geoff Ross and Shukri Abdi, who also point out the dangers of talking about diverse media as temporary fads. This includes great lines like “There’s…..no season” and “marginalized people…..are not a purse?” Abdi laments how “it is heartbreaking that people see other human lives existing fully, fairly, freely, as a trend!” before Shankar’s character dozes off.
Anyway, instead of painstakingly trying to explain why diversity is good and also not a statement necklace, just point similar trend watchers to this video!
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