“You Will Be Tokenized”: Speaking Out About the State of Diversity in Publishing 

Where are we going? I spoke to fifty people across the book world—from emerging and established writers to agents to editors to publicists to critics, from lit mags to MFA programs to mainstream media to small presses to the Big Five publishing houses—in an effort to feel out this answer, as well as document the lived reality of working inside a monoculture.

What It’s Really Like to Work in Hollywood* (*If you’re not a straight, white man)

The statistics are unequivocal: Women and minorities are vastly underrepresented in front of and behind the camera. Here, 27 industry players reveal the stories behind the numbers — their personal experiences of not feeling seen, heard or accepted, and how they pushed forward. In Hollywood, exclusion goes far beyond #OscarsSoWhite. (Interviews have been edited and condensed.)

It’s 2016 and it is still a struggle. I am statistically almost halfway through my life and I continue to notice whenever an Asian person shows up in pop culture. I continue to celebrate work that doesn’t continue stereotypes and I continue to hide my hurt whenever it is very clear that people of color are not wanted.

Take, for example, the stereotype that Chinese kids are good at math. Does that mean if I’m a Chinese student that I should purposely fail all of my math tests because I want to fight against that stereotype? Of course not. You want to be yourself. And that applies to characters on TV shows too. Defying stereotype for the sake of bucking against stereotype and not for the sake of the story … well, that is just another form of cowering to the haters. We didn’t get into this to please the haters. We got into this to tell our stories because they matter and because honestly, these fucking haters probably made us feel shame for these same stories when we were younger, but now we are older and have a firmer stance on this earth and in our own voices. Those very same fucking people who made fun of our parents’ accents contributed to us feeling embarrassed by our parents when really, we shouldn’t have been embarrassed because our parents know two languages. That’s actually a cool thing! They know a language that is both phonetic, like English is, and one that is ideographic, like Chinese is, and tonal. Do you know how hard that is? But when we were kids in a majority-non-Asian schoolyard — which is a uniquely Asian American experience, not a mainland-Chinese experience — we were shamed about that. #