— Variety (@Variety) October 14, 2016
on the importance of representation - Growing up as a film fan in Compton, Calif., DuVernay also had been disappointed by the lack of tales about people of color. There were a few notable exceptions — chief among them “West Side Story.” “I was mesmerized by the scope and the scale and the beauty of the brown people in the film,” says DuVernay. “To see Rita Moreno doing her thing and looking like friends who lived in my community — I remember that being a real formative image.”
on changes for women in the industry - "I have witnessed such a huge change. The biggest change for me, and the best change, is to seen women on the set, in the crew. It wasn’t that long ago I saw my first female electrician. And to me, that’s really exciting. That’s a really big change, because that was such a macho, male world."
on why it's important to have trans people playing trans roles - I was in a conversation with my acting teacher today about casting trans people in trans roles. We understand in the entertainment industry that there are so many political and business decisions around who gets cast. Movies have to get funded; people have to have a name to bring in box office. My dear friend Jen Richards made this beautiful point about the general public, when they often think about trans people they might think about — as brilliant as Jeffrey Tambor is in “Transparent” — they might think about Jeffrey Tambor accepting his Emmy. And they think that underneath it all, a trans woman is really a man. And her [point] was that when straight men are attracted to us, they haven’t worked through their own internalized stuff and this societal misconception that trans women are really men. And when men specifically play trans women, it perpetuates that idea, and it perpetuates violence against us. And there’s something to that argument.
on why inequality still exists for women in Hollywood - "A lot of it could be changed if we had a female president. That would give us a subconscious boost. I think people will have to realize they’re looking really dated. For example, there’s a show called “Supergirl.” I think having a show with a gender attached to it is weird. One, it’s a woman on that fucking billboard — it’s not a little girl. Two, what if you’re a little boy who wants to be a girl so bad that this makes you feel bad? I think having a title like “Supergirl” doesn’t give the power that people think it does."
on where her sense of empowerment comes from - I’ve been in this industry for over 20 years. My experience has been that with every risk, there’s a loss and gain. You hope that you learn something. I get a lot of power from taking risks and bracing myself for the outcome.