Russell Robinson

Hollywood and white victimology

Russell Robinson writes for HuffPost Black Voices, Feb. 26, 2016

This moment shines a spotlight on the phenomenon of white victimology, a psychology demanding exploration, so that we might gain insight into the misguided impulse to overshadow the exclusion experienced by people of color with competing and imagined narratives of injury.

White privilege 101

Russell Robinson cited in Salon, May 9, 2014

Robinson argues that the very different frameworks in which most blacks and whites are raised and live give rise to very different experiences of the world. … Because their life situations remain highly segregated for a large part of their lives, their resulting perceptions of the world remain segregated as well. … Robinson writes: While many whites expect evidence of discrimination to be explicit, and assume that people are colorblind when such evidence is lacking, many blacks perceive bias to be prevalent and primarily implicit.

The tricky business of writing casting notices.

Russell Robinson cited in Slate, July 30, 2012

Berkeley Law professor Russell Robinson argues that the First Amendment likely protects the rights of directors and producers to take race into consideration when it’s integral to the narrative—say, if you’re casting a real-life historical figure. However, the decision to make a character one ethnicity or another is often based on less clearly protected factors—like a fear that “mainstream” audiences won’t buy tickets to a film starring actors of color or the belief that only white characters can serve as audience stand-ins.

“Girls” reflects a lack of diversity in primetime television

Russell Robinson interviewed on WNYC-FM, The Takeaway, April 27, 2012

“So, it changes the construction of black men to have a black man included in a group of nerds. And that’s powerful. Another thing is that being black doesn’t mean that every moment of your life you’re talking about race.”

Free to be biased?

Melissa Murray, Russell Robinson write for The New York Times, Room for Debate, April 25, 2012

The question is whether the law should play a role in casting, or whether, under the license of “artistic freedom,” producers may cater to the preferences of the majority. Similar questions have surfaced in other contexts, and the law’s response has been clear and emphatic.

Russell Robinson and Su Li Study Oscar Winners’ Lack of Diversity

-Los Angeles Times, February 24, 2012 by Reed Johnson

The authors go on to observe that from 2002 through 2012, “almost 20 percent of nominees were people of color,” a “notable increase” over the 9% of Oscar nominees in the top categories who were people of color between 1990 and 2000. That’s the good news.

-COLORLINES, February 26, 2012 by Jorge Rivas

No winner in any acting category during the last ten years has been Latino, Asian American, or Native American, according to a new study titled “Not Quite a Breakthrough: The Oscars and Actors of Color, 2002-2012.”

-LA Weekly, February 26, 2012 by Dennis Romero

Along with its overwhelmingly white, geezerly voting population, the paper notes that just one of the Academy’s 43 board of governors members is not white. The researchers want the Academy to start a diversity task force.