TIME Magazine just published a new video feature entitled Pittsburgh’s Comeback: The Story of Its Rebirth. While the video features many great things about our city, NEXTpittsburgh isn’t the only one questioning the lack of women and diverse people interviewed on camera.
Part of TIME‘s Red Border Insights series, the 10-minute video spotlights Pittsburgh’s role in terms of establishing an educational and research base, supporting the regeneration of new skill sets following the decline of the steel industry and serving as a hub and global innovation center for world-class research, corporations and businesses and product investment.
The piece begins with Mayor Bill Peduto calling Pittsburgh “a city that will surprise you,” and then goes on to highlight the region’s topography, green spaces, architecture and views.
Presented by Siemens, the video showcases Pittsburgh’s leading role in the fields of robotics, meds and eds, high-tech innovation, the digital economy, research, finance and higher education. Also highlighted are Pittsburgh’s legacy in the steel industry, history of philanthropy, thriving arts and cultural scene, restaurant scene, bike lanes, green spaces and recreational amenities.
The video is drawing strong response from social media for its stunning lack of diversity in terms of the people selected as interviewees. No women are interviewed, and all of the interviewees are white males who appear to be over the age of 40. All are good choices but where are the women, young people and people of color?
“Um, no women in Pittsburgh?” tweeted one person.
“Epic fail, Time,” tweeted another.
Stephan Bontrager wrote this on Facebook:
“Hey, TIME Magazine and fellow white dudes: this is a beautiful video piece about Pittsburgh. This city looks great. People here are doing incredible things in medicine, technology and the arts. We know this.
However there is not a single woman or person of color or person under the age of 40 interviewed in this video. I have tremendous respect for many of the interviewees but every. Single. One. is an older white man. I realize this was probably the fault of the videographers and who they selected to interview/show, but dudes on camera, couldn’t you have recommended that they talk to some of your minority peers for this piece? Or rising leaders from a different generation who will appeal to those younger folks looking to move here?
If we are serious about the future of this city and making it livable for everyone, inclusion and representation and diverse voices MATTER. If your list of people to interview only includes a certain sub-segment of this town, you need to make your list longer.”
In addition to Mayor Peduto, the video includes interviews with: Dr. Andrew Moore, Dean of CMU’s College of Computer Science; Dr. Arthur Levine, Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Martial Herbert, Director of CMU’s Robotics Institute; Douglas Hueck, Editor of Pittsburgh Quarterly and Director of Pittsburgh Today; veteran Pittsburgh reporter Bill Saporito and several others from CMU and UPMC.
The video concludes by briefly addressing the significant challenges still faced by the city, such as segregation, inequalities between the city’s white and African American communities, economic disparities and access to education and jobs.
“America’s steel city was left for dead after the industry collapsed in the 1980s. Unemployment soared, the population plummeted and corporations fled. But gradually, Pittsburgh weathered the rocky transition from an economy built on manufacturing to one driven by cutting edge research. This is the story of its rebirth.”