More

Aziz Ansari's new show is amazing. But the stories he's sharing to promote it are just as good.

All jokes aside, he's doing what he can to make Hollywood a more diverse place.

Aziz Ansari's new show is amazing. But the stories he's sharing to promote it are just as good.

Currently out promoting his new Netflix show, "Master of None," Aziz Ansari is sharing some tough truths about diversity.

The show (which everyone needs to spend this weekend binge-watching, OK?) follows Dev, a 30-year-old actor played by Ansari. The show touches on issues of race, gender, sexuality, and the very human element of unconscious bias that plays into everyday life.

One of those topics, diversity in Hollywood, hits really close to home for Ansari, and he's using this promotional tour to share what he's observed. Ansari recently penned a piece for The New York Times in which he talked about what it meant to him as a kid to feel represented by characters on TV and in film and why it's important to have diverse entertainment.


Ansari's observations are spot-on. Hollywood isn't just white. It's disproportionately white.

During the 2012-2013 TV season, racial minorities made up just 6.5% of lead roles. That's pretty white. That's really white. That's unrealistically, disproportionately white; racial minorities make up nearly 40% of the U.S. population.

But what's the big deal, right? If minorities want roles, why don't they start their own shows, movies, and whatnot? Want more diversity? Make it more diverse! Right?

Well, as Ansari points out, it's way more complicated than that.

"I wouldn't be in the position to do any of this, and neither would ['Master of None' co-creator] Alan [Yang], unless some straight white guy, in this case Mike Schur, had given us jobs on 'Parks and Recreation,'" writes Ansari in his New York Times article. "Without that opportunity, we wouldn't have developed the experience necessary to tell our stories. So if you're a straight white guy, do the industry a solid, and give minorities a second look."

Ansari also stopped by "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," where he poked fun at the sad state of diversity in late-night talk shows.

Sitting next to Colbert, Ansari joked that while he was on camera, the show was 50% diverse (a victory!). "You are the first late-night host from South Carolina," he congratulated Colbert. "And the bajillionth white guy."

There's no shortage of articles and videos and posts on social media criticizing late night for being so devoid of people of color (especially women of color). Check out W. Kamau Bell's "The Unbearable Whiteness of Late Night" or Vox's statistic-heavy look at the topic for a more thorough breakdown on what's up.

But maybe the best look at late night's lack of diversity is this image from a Vanity Fair article about the "titans of late-night television."As it turns out, late-night TV is home to more people named James (looking at you, Fallon, Kimmel, and Corden) than people of color (or women).


But why should we want more diversity? Believe it or not, it can actually make you a better person.

Studies have found that when people see representation of a group they belong to on TV or in the movies, it affects how they view themselves.

Additionally, kids should grow up seeing themselves reflected in a variety of characters because data shows that it's good not just for them but for all kids to understand that skin color is not associated with any one type of character.

So yes, even white people benefit from increased diversity. True story!

As more and more people acknowledge that more racial diversity would benefit Hollywood, what can we do?

It's easy to feel pretty powerless in these situations, right? I'm not a TV executive. Odds are you're not a TV executive (unless you are, in which — bam! — you know what to do here). We don't make casting decisions, so what can we do to help?

The truth is that audiences want and have been asking for more diversity. So what more can you do? Support filmmakers who are people of color, boost their voices on social media, or if you happen to be unbelievably wealthy like George Lucas, fund programs to boost diversity in Hollywood. Really, just do anything but brush off the concerns of folks like Ansari.

Catch Aziz Ansari's diversity-enriching appearance on "The Late Show" below.

Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less
Terence Power / TikTok

A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

"But I recently made TikTok and said I'd share it on that and I'm so glad I did now!" he continued.

Keep Reading Show less
True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

via Pexels and @drjoekort / TikTok

Gay sex and relationships therapist Dr. Joe Kort is causing a stir on TikTok where he explains why straight men who have sex with men can still be considered straight. If a man has sex with a man doesn't it ultimately make him gay or bisexual?

According to Kort, there can be a big chasm between our sexual and romantic orientations.

"Straight men can be attracted to the sex act, but not to the man. Straight men having sex with men doesn't cancel somebody's heterosexuality any more than a straight woman having sex with a woman cancels her [heterosexuality]," he says in the video.

Keep Reading Show less
via Ken Lund / Flickr

The dark mountains that overlook Provo, Utah were illuminated by a beautiful rainbow-colored "Y" on Thursday night just before 8 pm. The 380-foot-tall "Y" overlooks the campus of Brigham Young University, a private college owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), commonly known as Mormons.

The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

"One change to the Honor Code language that has raised questions was the removal of a section on 'Homosexual Behavior.' The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code, " the school's statement read.

Keep Reading Show less