Tom Hanks urges filmmakers to tackle racism more often.

by Helvine Achieng
June 9, 2021

Award-winning actor Tom Hanks has urged filmmakers to tackle racism more often, suggesting that Black history and the societal impact of racism is underrepresented in the entertainment industry and the American education system.

In an opening for the New York Times Hanks wrote that history is "mostly written by white people about white people like me, while the history of Black people including the horrors of Tulsa -- was too often left out."

"Until relatively recently, the entertainment industry, which helps shape what history is and what is forgotten, did the same. That includes projects of mine." 


"historically based fiction entertainment must portray the burden of racism in our nation for the sake of the art form's claims to verisimilitude and authenticity."

Hanks has starred in or produced several historical films and T.V. series, including "Band of Brothers," "The Pacific", and "John Adams," and has also had roles in documentaries about U.S. history. Hanks message to filmmakers and producers comes after years of debate about a lack of diversity in the film industry, an issue that makes headlines virtually every award season. 

Hanks noted that the industry has begun telling a greater variety of stories, citing the T.V. series "Watchmen" and "Lovecraft Country" for depicting the Tulsa massacre. The Tulsa massacre, which took place over two days in 1921, saw a White mob kill 300 Black people and destroy a once-booming neighbourhood in Oklahoma, in one of the worst acts of racial violence in U.S. history.