JV: With regard to the agents and/or producers you’ve queried, how do they even know you’re an African-American screenwriter? I mean, your point of view seems to be: “They know I’m black—they won’t read my script!” Do you mention in your queries that you’re an African-American?
JS: I didn’t say that they know I’m African-American. I said since the majors do not even accept queries, this has a disproportionate impact on African-Americans in terms of locking us out of the industry, as we have no access to the people we would need to be read by.
I don’t agree with his logic, but that’s at least an answer.
Disparate impact falls under U.S. employment law. Does it apply to the agencies he’s suing, since he’s not seeking to be hired by them? Assuming disparate impact could be shown, would requiring agencies to accept queries actually change the percentages? This interview still suggests a very uninformed view of the industry.
After the epic comment threads on this issue, let’s send any new discussion to Jim’s post.