Although Kerry Washington is hopeful about the future of Hollywood, she knows that there’s still a lot of work to be done.
This week, the actress was a guest on Hollywood: the Sequel podcast’s first episode, where she spoke about the renewed national focus regarding the Black Lives Matter movement and the hopeful effects it will have both on the entertainment industry and the country as a whole.
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Despite the cultural reckoning and national protests following the deaths of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor, and more, Washington admitted that “in the last couple of weeks, not much has changed for Black people.”
For Hollywood and the world in general, she explained that the real change will come from dismantling the inherently unbalanced system that puts Black people and other people of color at a disadvantage from the start, and not from diversity initiatives and protests.
Washington noted that what people are realizing is that it isn’t enough to just not be racist – that because various institutions were built in racism’s fabric, because Black Americans were born in the country and are being designated a fraction of a human being – it’s not enough to just not be racist, everyone should have to be actively antiracist, and that desire should come from a deep understanding that everybody deserves full rights of humanity.
She then added she’s hoping that all of this new revelatory reflection lends itself to transformation of institutional practices and not only of hearts and minds. She acknowledges that all lives matters, but accepting to be in an anti-racist society entails affirming that Black lives matter – it’s important to have these conversations in classrooms, dinner tables and most especially in the highest systems of government.
Particularly in Hollywood, she said her simple hope was that out of these conversations come a lot of good, and that everyone can see and have courage to make room for each other.- Advertisement -
In recent weeks, Washington has been active on social media, hosting meditation sessions and yoga and inviting followers in “taking time to breathe for those who no longer have breath.” She also expressed her gratitude to fans who said they were watching her Broadway-turned-Netflix film American Son – which deals with issues of police injustice and race – “to deepen their understanding and compassion.”
On Instagram, the actress and mother of two wrote that her dream for the film was to spark conversations that would hopefully lead to change.