“All people I believe in America want to do these things,” says “Snowfall” writer and producer Walter Mosley about up-and-coming storytellers from diverse backgrounds looking for opportunities. “The problem has been not so much people having the desire, the ambition, the talent. It’s that people weren’t opening the door.” We talked with Mosley as part of our “FX Writing for Inclusion” panel. Watch our group discussion with Mosley, Steven Canals (“Pose”), Elgin James (“Mayans M.C.”) and Scott Wilson (“Fargo”) above. Click on each name to watch that person’s individual chat from the panel session.
Things have changed in the industry in recent years as the market has opened up to a wider range of creators and subjects, but you can’t always count on Hollywood to promote equity, so “like Janis Joplin says, get it while you can,” Mosley adds. Getting it also requires tenacity, as Canals points out: “Don’t let not having access to the resources stop you from having a dream,” he explains, and “you have to work on your craft” with the understanding that “you are going to have to work 10 times harder than your white counterpart.”
James echoes that sentiment. The way the business is organized, “it’s not anyone’s job to respect us. It’s not anyone’s job to remove the obstacles for us. It’s our job … It’s our job just to be f*cking undeniable.” It’s an unfortunate reality of the power dynamics that have developed over decades in film and television, but “if you’re queer, if you’re a person of color, if anything, it’s going to be that much harder, so f*cking bring it … Put your head down and be greater than everyone else.”
And there are opportunities for the industry itself if it keeps opening its doors wider. “There’s so many stories that haven’t been told in so many cultures,” says Wilson. “Homogenizing storytelling is boring, you know what I mean? … Humanity is this tapestry of different cultures and identities and experiences and languages. That’s what it looks like. And that’s what the stories that we tell should look like as well.”
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