In the News


Russell Robinson in the news:



The tricky business of writing casting notices.

Russell Robinson cited in Slate, July 30, 2012

Berkeley Law professor Russell Robinson argues that the First Amendment likely protects the rights of directors and producers to take race into consideration when it’s integral to the narrative—say, if you’re casting a real-life historical figure. However, the decision to make a character one ethnicity or another is often based on less clearly protected factors—like a fear that “mainstream” audiences won’t buy tickets to a film starring actors of color or the belief that only white characters can serve as audience stand-ins.


‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’: inside the racial discrimination lawsuit

Russell Robinson quoted in The Daily Beast, May 21, 2012

That’s why this case is “potentially groundbreaking,” said Berkeley professor and entertainment lawyer Russell Robinson. “Courts have consistently rejected customer-preference arguments. But because of issues of creative freedom, the entertainment industry operates untethered to the rules of antidiscrimination law,” he said.


“Girls” reflects a lack of diversity in primetime television

Russell Robinson interviewed on WNYC-FM, The Takeaway, April 27, 2012

“So, it changes the construction of black men to have a black man included in a group of nerds. And that’s powerful. Another thing is that being black doesn’t mean that every moment of your life you’re talking about race.”


Free to be biased?

Melissa Murray, Russell Robinson write for The New York Times, Room for Debate, April 25, 2012

The question is whether the law should play a role in casting, or whether, under the license of “artistic freedom,” producers may cater to the preferences of the majority. Similar questions have surfaced in other contexts, and the law’s response has been clear and emphatic.


Russell Robinson and Su Li Study Oscar Winners’ Lack of Diversity

-Los Angeles Times, February 24, 2012 by Reed Johnson
http://lat.ms/x6ERXC

The authors go on to observe that from 2002 through 2012, “almost 20 percent of nominees were people of color,” a “notable increase” over the 9% of Oscar nominees in the top categories who were people of color between 1990 and 2000. That’s the good news.

-COLORLINES, February 26, 2012 by Jorge Rivas
http://bit.ly/ykOasl

No winner in any acting category during the last ten years has been Latino, Asian American, or Native American, according to a new study titled “Not Quite a Breakthrough: The Oscars and Actors of Color, 2002-2012.”

-LA Weekly, February 26, 2012 by Dennis Romero
http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2012/02/oscars_academy_awards_white_diversity.php

Along with its overwhelmingly white, geezerly voting population, the paper notes that just one of the Academy’s 43 board of governors members is not white. The researchers want the Academy to start a diversity task force.