Lin-Manuel Miranda On Diversity, Inclusion & Attacking Inequities Edinburgh

Lin-Manuel Miranda has stressed that the entertainment industry must not be complacent in continuing to tackle issues of inclusion and diversity within the business in the wake of the pandemic.  

“I’m hopeful that we continue to carry those conversations with us because expediency kills those conversations,” said the Hamilton creator at the Edinburgh TV Festival on Wednesday.

Speaking in a conversation with Bad Wolf CEO Jane Tranter, the multi-hyphenate noted that while the pandemic has caused a lot of disruption in the sector, “the silver-lining in this really horrible and daunting time was the importance of the arts.”

He said: “Try imagining getting through this pandemic without binging that favorite TV show or reading those books. I think for those of us who know that we think of this as a calling, it’s really sort of tested our resolve.”

Miranda stressed that audiences are yearning for different voices and urged the industry to become more available to aspiring artists across all walks of life.

“People actually want stories they haven’t heard before, and that only comes when we have a chorus of voices, a panoply of voices that we haven’t heard or seen before,” he said.

He added that it was the duty of the entertainment industry to “attack those inequities.”

“A lot of the ways folks get legs up in the theatre and TV and film world is internships,” he said. “And if you can afford to not make money on an internship, then you get to be in this world and if you can’t, then you don’t. So, some of it is really attacking that stuff systemically and supporting folks who are at the ground floor level of this industry and making sure a living wage exists so that [a person] can make a living doing the thing [they] love.”

Miranda is currently filming BBC’s adaptation of His Dark Materials in Wales, where the conversation with the show’s producer Tranter took place. When pressed about the differences in diversity in the UK versus the U.S., he said he was “thrilled” at how diverse the cast of the show was.

“It’s very easy to do an all-white version of His Dark Materials and the thrilling diversity [made it] much richer I think…I’ve been really honored to be a part of it,” he said.

In terms of improving diversity on both sides of the pond, Miranda said: “I think it’s ongoing on both coasts, you know. I think that we can always do better. We can always continue to ask what voices aren’t we hearing, what faces aren’t we seeing on either side of the camera.”

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