Amazon StuDEIs

Hates White People

Amazon has been venturing out into additional industries, which is smart. They are capitalizing on opportunity; good for them, I guess. One of these industries is diversity, equity, and inclusion. I know what you’re probably thinking, and yes, DEI is most definitely an industry now. It has surpassed its early buzz-words phase and grown up to be a straight-up boss bitch, still questioning one’s sexuality phase. And finally, it has landed on its strong female lead, Mary Sue phase. is an Amazon Studios joint (Customer & Content: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility). “We Power Inclusive Storytelling” is the main tagline. “Amazon Studios and Prime Video is a home for talent of all backgrounds, and we are working to tell stories that represent the joy, depth, complexity, and drama that exists across our world.” After researching and the data it cites, that quote should read more like, “Amazon Studios and Prime Video is a home for (questionable) talent of (questionable percentages of) all backgrounds (except white people, preferably men), and we are working to tell stories (more than likely statistically incorrect) that represent the joy, depth, complexity, and drama that exists across our world.”

This was not created with the best intentions. If it was, then I believe it would have done a deeper dive into the reasons why stereotypes exist in the first place and then worked from that. This claims to be setting the standard for the industry, but its use of circular logic to rationalize its inception falls flat to reality. It uses “established” stereotypes to determine what should and shouldn’t be included in productions. What determines these stereotypes, though? How and/or why have these stereotypes come to exist? Stereotypes like black people are the only ones who (correctly) use the term “baby mamma” or “baby daddy.” Claiming, “These terms have a context-specific meaning within Black culture, but when used by people who aren’t Black, especially in official capacities (like newscasters), the meaning changes. They undermine the seriousness of real relationships and imply a lack of personal responsibility.” Not only is this rationality offensive in its nature, but it severely lacks self-awareness. That is the ruling theme of, unfortunately. 

We discourage stories that solely depict harmful or negative stereotypes, slurs, and dehumanizing language related to identity as well as narratives that link identity factors to jobs, religious beliefs, social class, or behavior” 

Of course, “harmful or negative stereotypes, slurs, and dehumanizing language” are socially unacceptable when the intentions are as such. But now, you’re talking about culture once you relate these notions to identity factors involving “jobs, religious beliefs, social class, or behavior.” Culture is culture, but it is not exclusive. Amazon attempts to build a house of ethical inclusivity with plastic nails and tarps for roofs. They also claim to “reflect US Census data” but do so incorrectly numerous times. The US Census data they refer to shows that 75.5% of the population is white, yet they still feel the need for this vast inclusion guide that’s main importance is diversity, equity, and inclusion. When in reality, it’s discrimination, plain and simple – discrimination against white people. They want everyone of every race, gender, disability, and sexuality to be properly and equally represented, which is most certainly a fair proposal, a just motivation, for sure. According to the data they refer to, though, by using this guide, they would, in fact, drown out the majority of representation of white people, preferably white men.

I’m all for diversity. Diversity is creativity. I’m all for inclusion. Everyone should be included. Not so much equity. Equity is forced outcomes. Equity is what makes this discrimination become a reality. Amazon’s inclusion guide requires that:

Where it doesn’t compromise the authenticity of the story, the minimum aspirational goals for casting across speaking roles are 30% white men, 30% white women and non-binary people, 20% men from underrepresented races and ethnicities, 20% women and non-binary people from underrepresented races and ethnicities.”

“We also aspire to cast at least 10% of our roles with people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or gender non-conforming / non-binary; and 10% with people who self-identify as a person with a disability.”

To reduce invisibility in entertainment, and where the story allows, we aim to include one character from each of the following categories for speaking roles of any size, and at minimum 50% of the total of these should be women: (1) lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or gender non-conforming / non-binary; (2) person with a disability; and (3) three regionally underrepresented racial/ethnic/cultural groups (e.g. in the US, three of the following: Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Middle Eastern/North African, or Asian / Pacific Islander or Multi-Racial)” 

So, obviously, they are choosing not to represent the US Census data appropriately. Or they’re just horrible at math because, clearly, their numbers and the data they refer to do not match up.

“Amazon Studios is committed to authentic portrayals. It is our intention, whenever possible, to cast actors in a role whose identity aligns with the identity of the character they will be playing (by gender, gender identity, nationality, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability) and in particular when the character is a member of an underrepresented group/identity.”

What they’re referring to here is similar to the whole fiasco with Brendan Fraser starring in The Whale. So many people were upset that a trained and talented actor who didn’t actually weigh 500lbs (or whatever) played that role. They would have preferred someone who didn’t have to wear a fat suit. They would also be mad about an actor who can see playing a blind person. The only type of instance I can see being relative to this is like back in the day when a white person would play an Asian person. Or (especially) when a man plays a woman in real life, or vice versa, but that hasn’t stopped anyone today in Clown World.

Amazon Studios has dedicated a whole page to programs, one being The Howard Entertainment Program, which seems to be a partnership between Howard University (“a leading Historical Black College and University”) and Amazon Studios. Amazon Studios is the exclusive sponsor of the Latino Film Institute’s Youth Cinema Project (YCP) Alumni Program for the 2022-2023 school year. On their press page, a headline reads, “Amazon Studios to Provide $50k Finishing Fund for Latino Independent Filmmakers.” 

By their use of stereotypes to determine how a character may be written, they only perpetuate them. Wouldn’t it be better to let characters be written as human?

Amazon DEI

What I find very funny is when they have the gall to say, “Make Inclusive Decisions while telling authentic stories and hiring the best people for the job.” I think “hiring the best people for the job” has gone by the wayside – like way down the wayside next to Trent Reznor’s dreams when he was recording The Downward Spiral. If they were serious about hiring the best people for the job, then we would be reading a completely different website. This inclusion guide would be providing information to help production teams find the best and most qualified talent. Instead, they’re more focused on exaggerated percentages where the only way to satisfy them is by sacrificing talent and merit for the sake of representation. Excuse me, I mean diversity, equity, and inclusion.

I don’t care who is in my shows and movies. I wouldn’t care if there wasn’t one white person, preferably a man. More specifically, I wouldn’t care if I never saw a show or movie ever again that didn’t have a half-white, half-black lesbian with subtle bits of social anxiety and a craving for fried chicken. They could make shows that were nothing but one race and one sex. I don’t care who’s in it; just make it good. I care about quality storytelling, production value, world-building, drama, intensity, and suspense. Nowhere in this guide are any of these seriously considered. What is seriously considered is that white people, preferably men, become the minority on screen. Change my mind.

This entire website and the program in general are extremely offensive to my sense of objective reality. They could have saved a lot of time, web space, and so many other things by just saying they don’t want white people, preferably men, in entertainment. Multiple times, they reason that they want their customers to feel seen. That is unless you’re white people, preferably men. When you look at the photos on the site, on their press thumbnails, or their event thumbnails, you don’t see white people. Maybe one here or there, but it’s mainly black, Latino, and Asian people. I haven’t counted, but I’m guessing these photos show more women than men, as well. Don’t get me wrong; I love women. The more, the merrier. At this point, it’s just another sad observation of something that should have never been created, all things being created equally, except for Amazon Studios and white people, preferably men.

Given that some of the biased language in this propaganda may be new or unfamiliar, or just batshit crazy, they suggest reading over the Think Tank for Inclusion & Equity factsheet to improve your familiarity with these topics. Some of its greatest hits include:

Amazon DEIAmazon DEIAmazon DEIAmazon DEI

Yes, I saved my favorite for last. They first claim that Latinx is a gender-neutral term, then that its fast growing as the preferred identifier among U.S. Latin American communities. Isnt that nice? Reading those two points in tandem would make one think that Latinos are very non-binary, to put it plainly. This reads like colonialist propaganda to misinform people, as to make a term (that actually isnt accepted by the culture it defines) appear to be more socially accepted or normalized. And yes, Latinx may have been created as a non-binary alternative, but it is now considered an all-encompassing term. Ive already written an article on my Substack about this called Latinx: Whitesplaining Colonialism.

Mathematically, from a supply and demand standpoint, all of these DEIs are impossible. There’s only so much diversity that can equitably be included in anything. More simply, there’s only so much diversity to go around. Sooner than later, it’s gonna run out because there isn’t an abundance of it. So, what happens when this reality is accepted? Submission would be a nice start, but facts and DEIs seem to be incompatible.

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