'Silicon Valley' Creators Confront Diversity Criticisms with the Obvious, but Topical, Truth
The cast and executive producers of HBO's Silicon Valley appeared at SXSW on Saturday to preview the upcoming third season of the tech-focused comedy, and during the panel exec producer Alec Berg addressed the show's lack of diversity as a popular criticism.
"The first season, we got a lot of flack - some of it deservedly so - about how male and white the makeup of the show was, but we're also satirizing a real world. That real world, the people who do what our guys do, are 87% male. Venture capitalists at the partner level are 96% male and white, so the world we're depicting is every bit as off-kilter as our show is."
It opens up a tricky, but unavoidable, bag of worms. Its a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation, in a literal attempt at art imitating life, as they depict the events of our history. "...The world we're depicting is f—-ed up, but do we have the responsibility to make the gender and racial balance on our show ideal when the world we're depicting isn't?"
That is the golden answer to the question, and just as Mad Men did before it, depicting the world as it was helps to build and maintain an awareness of the times throughout our history, even as we (hopefuly) try to improve our present.
Berg insisted later that they're trying extremely hard to even the numbers when it comes to minorities off the screen, even if their on-screen imbalance is entirely intentional.