MONTREAL – I saw a post from one of Quebec’s biggest celebrities on Instagram. It described how happy she was to be nominated, again and again, for the Artis Gala trophy. By the way, I respect her accomplishments and she is one of the first people that were proud of me when I created this blog.
While I wasn’t surprised or shocked by her nomination, I was even less surprised by the lack, again, of diversity on the Quebec media scene. Even Sugar Sammy posted his reaction.
Let me show you:
Let me tell you something. In Quebec, there is no lack of talented reporters, comedians, actors, or public personalities that are deserving of this recognition. I can think of Angelo Cadet, Herby Moreau, Didier Lucien, Widemir Normil, Isabelle Racicot, Sugar Sammy, Antoine Benz, and Aba and Preach to name a few. These artists and others could have been nominated, yet I see the same old list of nominations since I was ten years old (I’m 37 now).
With everything that is going on right now, I’m not shocked, just tired. I’m tired of seeing the same old shows on TV with the same actors. They change the name of the show, but it’s still the same thing, the same storyline, the same plot, the same actors, and the same executive producer.
When I read Prime Minister Legault’s statement that there is no systemic racism in Quebec, I roll my eyes like for at least 25 seconds, non-stop. Of course, there is. There always has been.
Some media giants like Quebecor, Radio-Canada, and others will tell you: But, we are showcasing some diversity on television. Look, our weather girl is black.
First of all, could this weather girl potentially be promoted to anchor on a morning talk show? Could the talk show have a cool Vietnamese producer?
Could we have some diversity in a production team, or in an upper executive role?
In my youth, the only channel I saw diversity was Musique Plus. This channel was the francophone version of MTV and Much Music. This is where I first saw Veronique Cloutier, who was nominated for best talk-show host and for a woman of the year award for I don’t know how many times she was nominated for those awards. This is where I discovered Angelo Cadet, as a young VJ, Rebecca Makonnen, Nabi-Alexandre Chartier, Virgina Coossa, Philippe Fehmiu, Malik Shaheed, Marlyne Afflack; they used to call him an animator on Musique Plus.
Right now, people are talking about changing the conversation regarding diversity in Quebec media, but it still the same bullshit we keep reading without any actual action.
We should create our own opportunities.
Yes, we can!
Will I write about how we can?
I would just be repeating myself and like everyone else, I’m tired. Instead, I will be one of the people knocking down walls to be part of the change.
Let’s be an army of advocates by investing, creating, and being the best of the best, la crème de la crème, in television, radio, magazines, movies, on the web, and through other media outlets.
We need to stick together guys!
Instead of crying about the lack of diversity on TVA, Ici Radio-Canada, and at their galas, let’s keep encouraging galas like Diversity Gala. Let’s keep creating content on YouTube.
Let’s keep making movies all around the world and be successful.
The rest of the world is making more effort to embrace diversity.
In the end, while media in the rest of Canada, the States, Europe, and all around the world is growing, the Quebec media remains in their own bubble.
It’s their loss, not ours.
I would love to be able to talk to you and see if you can help to amplify our message of systemic racism in Quebec, and racism in Quebec society in general.
I am the founder and chair of Canadians United Against Hate and would like to connect with a network of people in Quebec to be able to respond to issues of hate, bigotry and racism in that province.
Your help would be greatly appreciated.
“Some media giants like Quebecor, Radio-Canada, and others will tell you: But, we are showcasing some diversity on television. Look, our weather girl is black.”
…most of the times, the weather person or the person doing the traffic is Black. Only recently, within the last 10 years, have we seen a little more, just a bit more, Black people with regular beats or filling in as anchors on weekends, late nights, or during the summer when the regular white anchor is on vacation.
Yes, several Black people in Quebec media got their start from Musique Plus. That was a great station, like Much and MTV….but YouTube. lol