Although Hollywood’s minimization of actors of color in blockbuster films is nothing new, the effects of cutting a film down to only the parts where actors of color are speaking is, to say the least, striking. This is exactly what Dylan Marron, a New York-based writer and actor, is doing with his new video series, “Every Single Word.” Using films without an overt race focus like “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Her,” Maron shows, with damning visual clarity, how few captivating roles actually exist for people of color in Hollywood’s biggest films.
When speaking with NBC News, Marron (who has been nominated for a Drama Desk Award) talked about how he, from a young age, understood how his race might affect his chances of getting a role:
Third grade I went to an open casting call for ‘Home Alone 3.’ I just remember…feeling like ‘what was I doing there?’ and it was one of the first moments that I realized that I was different and that difference was going to affect something.
He also talked about how this marginalization in Hollywood can be so easy to ignore, and described the video project as illuminating:
I didn’t even notice until later, that’s one of the craziest things. Although I would think about it later, I didn’t immediately leave Spike Jones’ ‘Her’ saying ‘ugh there were no people of color.’ That’s why this is insidious. We are so dazzled by the entertainment and storytelling, we don’t realize the unconscious coding is happening.