Calendar Letters: An agent’s perspective on diversity in Hollywood
Regarding “Things Are Getting Better for Women Behind the Camera in TV” [March 11]: Kudos to the current crop of prominent showrunners on their commitment “to break old habits” of gender-based bias by influencing their TV studio employers to hire more diverse directors. However, given my 23 years as a literary and talent agent, I was struck by the reference to industry gatekeepers as “typically agents with a tried-and-true Rolodex.” Hardly. In my experience, agents have always pushed back on the institutionalized mind-set to exclude women and minority clients.
Without the agent perspective on how hard won the recently open climate truly is, the story is incomplete.
Model solution for homelessness
Congratulations to Balkrishna Doshi for his excellent achievement [“Prize Winner Rooted Deep in India,” March 8]. I think he is in the company of the greatest humanitarians like Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. He is doing great work for poor and middle-class people of India the way former President Carter does with Habitat for Humanity.
Los Angeles and the rest of the United States should be ashamed off their inability to house the homeless and poor when a country like India can not only provide such housing for large numbers of people but also win a prestigious award for the architect for designing it. Our mayor and city council should be particularly embarrassed by this comparison, especially when the electorate voted for funding for these projects.
NIMBYism is not an excuse, either — many projects get approved even when large numbers of neighbors object; it is all about the class system in this city, with class and clout being based on money and race, of course. Congratulations to the Pritzker committee for finally rewarding someone who has the grace to provide for the needy instead of the conspicuous consumers of his country. If only we had someone like that here and the local and national government to support them.
Why can’t we do something like this in Los Angeles and other cities in the U.S. where the homeless problem is increasing?
Architecture’s role in life of city
As much as I will miss Christopher Hawthorne’s wise and reasoned voice in these pages [“Job Is Built on L.A.’s Future,” March 12], I am heartened we have a mayor who values the architecture profession’s positive ability to affect the life of the city and its people. It is my hope that The Times’ new management will value this as much and install another thoughtful architecture critic.
Julie D. Taylor
Apt comments about the Oscars
The Times’ Justin Chang consistently provides insightful and beautifully written film critiques, but his observations regarding this year’s Oscar celebrations were particularly apt and spot-on.
Also, I have to say that the absurd “relatability” effort of Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel and the star parade to a nearby theater to offer snacks to the “commoners” was a tone-deaf fiasco.
Current state of communism
The reader who criticized Kenneth Turan’s review of “The Young Karl Marx” [“Calendar Feedback: Marx’s Influence Isn’t So Pretty,” March 4] plainly does not understand Marx or communism. He claims that Russia, China, Korea, Vietnam and Cuba are “communist tyrannies.” This is not correct. They are totalitarian states and, in the case of at least China, a totalitarian capitalist state. The closest thing in the world today to a communist state would be Sweden, where income, housing, medical care and food as well as a life of dignity and respect are guaranteed to all citizens.
‘Inclusion’ comes with ‘exclusion’
Regarding “‘Inclusion Rider’ Lands in the Spotlight” [March 6]: The inclusion rider is a great idea if every film and television project will be as brilliant as “This Is Us,” but we are far from that. Yes, inclusion is a start, but remember with “inclusion,” there is a different kind of “exclusion.”
The conversation continues online with comments and letters from readers at
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