Tiger Woods’ HBO Series Faces Backlash For Lack Of Black Talent
While Tiger Woods‘ documentary is scheduled to premiere on HBO in December, it’s already receiving criticism for its lack of black talent featured. According to reports, the project is slated to show,
“Tiger Wood’s journey through success, scandal, injuries and one of the most amazing comebacks in sports history will be detailed in a two-part documentary series from HBO Sports and executive producer Alex Gibney.”
Filmmaker Matthew Heineman announced the project on his Facebook page and the debate about the project’s lack of black talent quickly became a conversation.
Geeta Gandbhir, an Emmy-winning filmmaker, was the first to question the lack of diversity in the Tiger Woods’ project.
“This is a great project. I said this to Matthew Hamachek as well, and feel compelled to ask you — in the spirit of being anti racist — why did you both, two white men opt to direct this film?”
“I want to make you aware of the asks from the black and brown community – as you have a huge platform, and the whole community needs to grapple with the issue of systemic racism in our community. Why was there not a director reflective of the community on this project? If there were two of you, couldn’t ONE of you have been Black or Asian? Accountability and leadership are needed at this time — you are in a great position to be a positive example.”
Matthew Heineman replied to the criticism saying,
“Before responding, I wanted to first take some time to begin the process of really looking in the mirror and fully digesting the conversation here… I have read and re-read all that has been said, and hope this thread has created an opportunity to try to improve an unjust and inequitable system (that I have both profited from and been a part of perpetuating).
I know that my ability to rise within the industry has been easier than for BIPOC filmmakers. I have been given access to funding, to partnerships, to platforms that many others may not get. My privilege has opened doors, and I also understand that my privilege affects my storytelling perspective. I must actively prioritize inclusion of other perspectives in the projects that I undertake.
He added that he would do now do things differently he could.
In that vein, I absolutely should have done more to diversify our Tiger crew. I wish I could go back in time and change things, and it’s my responsibility to course correct and do better.
I realize that part of the problem is falling into the comfort zone of working with people I’ve worked with in the past–and that’s part of the reason why my productions have not been diverse enough. Going forward, I want to work to expand and strengthen my network of collaborators and, as many have noted on this chain, use my position to advocate for a diversity of voices in all aspects of our industry.
I really, truly hope the conversation that Geeta ignited can lead to meaningful change, and I commit to learning, to engaging, and hopefully helping to be part of this change.”
Tiger is currently in production and has an anticipated release date of Dec. 13th 2020 and Dec. 20th on HBO, as well as available to stream on HBO Max.
What are your thoughts on Tiger Woods’ documentary getting called out for lack of diversity! Let us know in the comments!