john august on hollywood's shrinking acting pool

From time to time, I read the blog of screenwriter John August. He's responsible for writing such movies as Go, Charlie's Angels, Big Fish, and The Nines, as well as a whole bunch of other projects, both credited and uncredited. Think whatever want about his work, but it's a really interesting, useful blog, with lots of great tips on screenwriting, cool anecdotes, and general insights on the film industry.

Recently, he wrote a really good post on how actors of a certain age, especially ethnic minorities, are becoming more and more scarce, and points out that the film industry could be addressing issues like this in its negotiations with SAG, but aren't: Writers need actors.

When the economic realities of the industry force actors out, the diversity in the acting pool shrinks, and it starts to become impossible for your casting director to find that old Chinese woman you need for an episode. And a lot easier to just rewrite it for a younger, white actor. This situation isn't necessarily causing the lack of diversity in television, but it sure as hell makes it harder to combat. (Thanks, Vicky.)

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