As I said before, I spent the weekend hanging out with the SFWA crowd and attending the Nebula Awards. Standing in a room full of the most amazing writers on the planet is a heady experience, let me tell you. And it never becomes less fabulous the more I do it.
Ron D. Moore (executive producer of Battlestar Galactica – the dude on the left) was the Toastmaster and he gave an excellent speech. I spotted him at the reception beforehand and, after much gathering of courage, went over and introduced myself. Then I said: “I just have one thing to say to you about BSG: More black people in the background. Please.”
Let me break here to mention that lately I’ve become more and more aware that there are two reactions I’m likely to get when bringing up issues of diversity or the lack thereof. The reaction from people who don’t want to think about diversity or are against diversity (but don’t admit it) is generally hostile or dismissive. The reaction from people who are already thinking about diversity and may even be working to correct a lack of diversity is generally thoughtful and constructive. I didn’t know which kind of person Mr. Moore was when I walked up to him. I was prepared for anything but expected, well, not much.
Ron Moore turned out to be an awesome guy.
His response was: “That’s a fair criticism.”
His further response I can only paraphrase, but basically he said that it was true, there weren’t a lot of black folks beyond the main cast. He did say, “It doesn’t help that we shoot in Vancouver,” but owned that this wasn’t a good excuse. He also told me he sometimes notices this as well. We talked a little bit about the lack of background diversity on SF shows but I didn’t keep him long. I ended the conversation by telling him that he’s awesome. Because, he is.
Trolls and fools take note – Ron Moore can own up to the flaws in his creative endeavor. Therefore, so can you.
You may also take note that Ron is both white and male, and yet I like him. I know, shocking.
I’m reconsidering my ban on Battlestar Galactica, but I have a lot of thinking to do. Sure, the lack of brown people in the background was/is an issue, but there’s still that rape thing. So, we’ll see.
But hey, Ron Moore and the ABW talkin’ race without bloodshed! Now we just have to make him take back that bit about BSG not being SF.