Sanaa Lathan has a bone to pick with new social media stars. The star of Fox’s upcoming police drama “Shots Fired” questioned the lack of diversity among internet celebrities and blames behind-the-scenes talent for Hollywood’s heterogeneity issues.
Speaking to Variety, Lathan said she’s happy about the ongoing conversation about diversity, “but we need more diversity in every way, and more diversity behind the scenes: people writing stories, people greenlighting stories, people acting in stories. What I would love for the entertainment industry to do is reflect the beautiful melting pot of the world we live in.”
A study by the University of Southern California released in February found diversity in Hollywood was caused by an “epidemic of invisibility.” It found just 7 percent of films with a cast whose races and ethnicity reflected the country’s own. In broadcast, 19 percent of programs had ethnic diversity. Researchers found movies and shows with minorities in important roles like directors, producers or writers had greater racial diversity.
Lathan – who plays an FBI agent in the soon-to-be-released thriller “Now You See Me 2” – said diversity is not only limited to Hollywood. She also expressed her frustration with the homogenous looks of social media stars.
“There’s something happening in the last couple years with certain social-media stars: They’re all starting to look the same,” the 44-year-old told Variety. “There’s a new aesthetic, and I feel like it’s going away from natural beauty. I’m all for celebrating the differences in who we are. I’m really into the beauty of women of all shapes, sizes, colors, features, and hair textures.
Diversity for the actress does not only refer to racial beauty but also extends to the growth in surgical enhancement.
“There’s something going on — a certain look that’s very plastic, with the injections, the fillers, the nips and tucks,” Lathan said.