Aaron Sorkin Just Found Out that Hollywood Has a Diversity Problem

Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

For all his grandiose writing about the way things work, Aaron Sorkin has managed to avoid some unpleasant truths despite the many, many efforts made to educate him over the years. But he understands now.

Variety reports that Sorkin appeared on a panel Saturday at the Writers Guild Festival, moderated by film critic Elvis Mitchell. It appears he was astounded by the notion that white men receive more second chances when they make just so-so movies, when women and minorities find it difficult to even make that first film:

“Are you saying that women and minorities have a more difficult time getting their stuff read than white men and you’re also saying that [white men] get to make mediocre movies and can continue on?” he asked the audience.


Throughout the discussion Sorkin returned to this baffling notion, though he insisted that Hollywood is a meritocracy and that he has been unaware of any diversity issue. “You’re saying that if you are a woman or a person of color, you have to hit it out of the park in order to get another chance?” Sorkin demanded, perhaps hoping everyone would see he was speaking truth to power.

Mitchell apparently joked that Sorkin was making the common mistake of confusing “meritocracy with meretricious,” but to no avail. Sorkin was quick to remind everyone that Lena Dunham and Jordan Peele exist. There’s no report of how Sorkin came around, but he eventually offered to “help” with the diversity issues he just sort of agreed to acknowledge:

“What can I do [to help]?” Sorkin said. “I do want to understand what someone like me can do … but my thing has always been: ‘If you write it, they will come.’”

Ah, the Field of Dreams diversity initiative.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

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The Noble Renard

Aaron Sorkin is genuinely the worst kind of liberal; he is so insistent that both he, and his fellow travelers, are neutral and color-blind that he repeatedly marginalizes women and minorities in an attempt to keep pretending that he’s the good guy and it’s those other guys that are the bad ones. Because if you keep insisting that the white male circles of power you operate in are only white and male because of the passive forces of merit and coincidence, you don’t have to tell yourself that you’re complicit; that every time you put pen to paper and invent a character, and that character’s default skin is white and that character by default has a penis swinging between their legs, that you’re doing nothing to solve the problem and you’re making it worse.

He apparently also pointed out Ava Duverney in his insistence that a meritocracy exists; Ava Duverney, who was the first black woman ever nominated for Best Director in the existence of the Oscars. So, basically, he’s firmly thrusting himself at “we elected a black president, so racism’s over.”