I was cautious about writing anything as my initial thought was that my voice wasn’t the one that needed to be heard. And whilst I still believe that to a certain extent I’ve also come to realise how crucial it is not to retreat in our own bubbles and become silent.
It’s a well-known reality that the industry I work in has constantly pushed minorities and people of colour aside. There isn’t enough diversity in the stories that are being told.
My privilege of being white has enabled me to succeed in an industry that is systematically racist. This reality is inadmissible. It is with dismay that I look back at the lack of black actors and directors on my resume.
My industry also falls short on so many levels when it comes to dealing with humanity. It runs on a capitalist thread of making profit. Making profit out of stories, people, and whatever is thought to appeal to the broadest audience. The artistry is slowly being pushed aside in favour of this. What is incredulous to me is people can make informed and wonderful choices to actively change the status quo for the better. People are tired and bored of seeing the same stories, the same white male led narrative. How can we break this pattern? How can we make this choice not only mine but one that financiers, producers and directors make?
Firstly I take responsibility for my lack of action. Awareness is a first step but isn’t enough.
It is time to engage. Social media has given a great platform for unheard voices and been a decisive tool for protest organisation, helplines, guidance and education. It’s created a contact that was missing, a contact between people regardless of their geographical, social, political and economical self. I believe the power of engaging with one another truly and honestly through our differences is a vital force for change.
"Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity."
– Simone Weil
The continuity of action is where change lies. I can’t claim to have had hardship because of the colour of my skin, I haven’t been marginalised either because of it and it hasn’t led me to be treated disfavour-ably by the law. Those are things I cannot change. But I can create change by engaging with my peers, with colleagues and family so that the conversation about race and racism continues for a better future. There are so many more ways to be a part of shift, there are petitions to sign, donations to be made, stories to learn from. And I’m sure many more ways will continue to develop as we continue to seek this change.
French born Stacy Martin is an acclaimed actor and model with a penchant for starring in challenging movies including Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac, Ben Wheatley's High-Rise and Brady Corbet's Vox Lux. She has featured on many illustrious film juries, including at the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals.