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Too much inclusion?

Frances McDormand’s demand for inclusion riders during her recent Oscar acceptance speech has had everyone talking.  Just days later, actor Michael B. Jordan announced that this contract clause which requires studios to hire diverse crew and cast would definitely be adopted by his own production company.

Diversity and inclusion are popular words these days.  And with good reason.  Despite their proportion of the population, many different cultures, races, and minority groups are not represented in the media.  They are part of the world and yet not part of that world.

Then there’s also the ongoing issue of the lack of good female roles in entertainment.  Women comprise half the population but fail to show up half the time in shows and movies.

However, just as many movements develop a life of their own and go beyond their initial intent, Hollywood’s desire for inclusiveness may already need to be reined in a little.

RuPaul first made headlines in the early 90’s as a drag queen.  This six-foot four-inch gay black man wore stilettos and giant hair to become an out-spoken and loved character in entertainment.  Then ten years ago, he launched RuPaul’s Drag Race – part modelling, part talent contest for men who dress as women professionally.

It’s a very specific contestant who appears on the show.  And Drag Race’s popularity continues today because of its sensitivity, humour, drama and compassion.  So it’s surprising that RuPaul has recently come under fire by the LGBTQ community.

In an interview with The Guardian, RuPaul said that any trans woman who had started the physical transition process should not be allowed on the show.  His reasoning?  “Drag loses its sense of danger and its sense of irony once it’s not men doing it, because at its core it’s a social statement and a big f-you to male-dominated culture.”

In response, LGBTQ rights activists argued that physical characteristics don’t determine gender identity and these women should be allowed to compete.

So a contest that has men dressing as women in sequins and big hair should now include women dressing as women in sequins and big hair?  That’s the argument in this time of complete inclusivity.

Perhaps the LGBTQ should check itself when it’s arguing equality with the man who helped blast open the door to discussions about gender identity and what was once a misunderstood fringe community.

And besides, what’s wrong with having a show specifically for men?  Is our local Bachelor’s for Hope Auction wrong because it’s exclusively designed to sell men to the highest bidder?  Okay, maybe so.

But inclusiveness should not negate specialization.  Black Entertainment Television focuses on African American entertainers.  Hispanic Heritage Awards celebrate Hispanic culture.  Should they be condemned for not including the Anglo-Saxon population?

Inclusiveness is important if we’re to ever reach social equality.  I get that.  However, it shouldn’t mean homogenizing the population.  Entertainment should be allowed to celebrate our separate and distinct parts of the whole.  After all, they’re what make humanity so fabulous.