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Why White Men Should Refuse to Be on Panels of All White Men

White media types are always complaining about a lack of diversity on panels and in articles. Why don't they boycott them?


It seems to happen almost monthly: Organizers of a prominent event announce a panel featuring so-called tastemakers that includes nary a woman or minority. A Twitter uproar ensues, and bloggers weigh in on this latest travesty in diversity. After that, the white, male panelists—genuinely surprised to be called out—apologize, saying they had no idea things would skew so white and male. The event organizer also apologizes and tacks on an excuse: “I reached out to women and minorities, but...” There’s mocking and maybe some genuine outrage, but nothing really changes.

Which brings us to this week. When the lineup for I Want Media’s “The Future of Media” panel was announced Monday, the more progressive minds on Twitter let out a collective groan. The annual panel attracts the most elite of media elites—the likes of Nick Denton and Arianna Huffington—and this year there wasn’t a single woman or person of color represented. “The future of media: all white, all male, apparently,” tweeted Irin Carmon, a writer at Jezebel.

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