Television producers, actors, directors, executives and diversity and inclusion experts joined Diversity For the Changemakers Virtual Summit on Tuesday, dedicated to profiling people who have a positive social impact in the entertainment industry. During the day, Diversity The authors and editors spoke to key industry figures on television storytelling about mental health, both on-screen and off-screen representation improvement, the challenges that diversity and inclusive initiatives face today, and more.
Here are eight major takeaways this year Diversity Changemakers Summit.
‘Generalization to the marginalized’ is the way forward for representation
Changing the landscape of representation in the media is not the job of an individual creator, but it is important to acknowledge that changing culture is part of the job, actor-producer David O’Leary told senior award editor Clayton Davis at the stereotype in storytelling panel. Although O’Leary describes in detail his experience as a stronghold of “diversity and inclusion” in particular, he does not like the term and thinks of his cultural responsibility as a touch to make it a masterpiece.
“The thing that keeps me going is praying for what will be achieved on this earth beyond my time to normalize the marginalized,” Oyelovo said. “We have to get to the point where the conversation has been normalized and my kids don’t have to deal with it that way, that’s the victory … for all of us on this panel, we have to come to terms with the fact that we’ve just worked on it. We like to tell stories.” We love our jobs, we love the people we interact with, we love the cultural impact it has, but the tangible part of our work is normalizing the marginalized.
Mental health representation can lead to unexpectedly positive results
For a roundtable discussion on mental health and recreation, feature editor Janelle Riley asked panel member Kendrick Sampson, who is known for playing Nathan in HBO’s “Insecure,” as if to represent an open character about his struggle with bipolar disorder. Sampson said he first became aware of the impact of his character at the end of Season 3, after his character haunted Issa.
“I thought everyone would hate me because of the relationship drama … I was so worried because people were shouting at me at airports. Kelly Rowland, when I first met her she came back and she was like, ‘Why are you so haunted?’ And I was like, ‘This is Kelly Rowland,’ ‘said Sampson. Is struggling to get out. And a lot of people related to that … I want to make it work.
One door is closed and the other is opened
Visionaries and Productions – During the Artisans Making History Panel, Senior Artisan Editor Jazz Tangcay moderated a conversation with a group that included a hairstylist, an animator, a musician, a cinematographer, and more artists from under-represented groups in the behind-the-scenes world. Television and film. Tangcay asked the group to share a moment where the door was closed on them and how they recovered in their careers. In Frederick Espiras, “House of Gucci”, the hairstylist shared his own experiences of struggling early in his career and how he moved forward.
“For me there was no other choice,” Espiras said. “It simply came to our notice then. I was doing this at a homeless downtown hotel. Because I came here with my dream and my plan … We are living and we will find a way to do it. There was no other way.” I constantly did stuff for free and did a lot of different things and put other dreams I had or the things I wanted to do in the back burner or got rid of them and focused on something that I was really destined to do, which was it. The God-given talent that we all have when we are told ‘no’ hurts. ”
Network television is hungry for a variety of voices
When Miranda Kwok was developing her series “The Cleaning Lady” about an undocumented Filipino immigrant who became a cleaner for the crowd to support her son, she initially saw it as a cable or streaming show. But Warner Bros. persuaded his listeners to move the show to the network, saying the broadcast had developed an appetite for a variety of stories. The show has seemed a bit unfocused in recent episodes, however, and the show has seemed a bit unfocused in recent episodes.
“The fact that we have 12 million people watching the pilot was extraordinary and such examples are worth it,” Kwok told the Changemakers panel. Diversity Senior Artisan Editor Jazz Tangcay. “There are people who are usually illegal immigrants who now say, ‘I don’t want to see them deported’ or ‘I was in tears.’ On the flip side of that, about the representation. There are people out there who want to say, “Thank you. Thanks for creating this show because I finally saw it. This is what happened to me or my parents. It seemed like we could never talk about it. We have been silent for so long. ‘ So I think we’re really lucky to have such an amazing platform at Fox and I’m so thankful that so many people have embraced the show.
Self-awareness is the first step towards inclusive reform
As Chief Storytelling and Marketing Officer for Color of Change, Kyle Rosell partners with companies in the entertainment industry to improve inclusion and diversity in companies. On the Changemakers Panel about AMC’s diversity initiatives Diversity Angelique Jackson, senior film and entertainment reporter, said that the first step people should take to improve their culture is to be aware of their own limitations and ask for help.
“I think self-awareness is the first step. Like, understanding, you know what you know and you don’t know what you don’t know and start asking questions and if you want to go big, there are resources like equity audits that you can do. You can ask your company, or you can implement it yourself if you have that power, “said Roselle. “But I think people really need to be aware of the privileges they have and they inadvertently start to incorporate these problematic things from the practice of inserting into the content story. .
Resources for mental health storytelling have improved significantly
Diversity Cynthia Littleton, co-editor-in-chief, led a panel of MTV executives to discuss the inclusion of mental health stories on television. During the panel, Animation Grant Gish’s MTV SVP discussed the difficult task of incorporating the story of mental health struggles into animation and comedy, pointing to the Mental Health Media Guide as a resource that has significantly improved his and his team’s sensitive approach. Subject.
“We have a mental health media guide to show them that they understand what we are talking about. We have examples from other programs that have addressed this to show them. We have mental health workshops in which they can engage. They understand that we are doing it, “said Gish.” It has to be organic. We viewers don’t want to think, ‘Oh, they have an agenda. They are trying to jam it down our throats. ‘ You have to be as organic as the humor you get in our programs, in our adult animation. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people. And fortunately, we now have many resources at our fingertips, thanks to this Mental Health Media Guide. So our programs have responded really well. I think there’s that opportunity because, historically, you haven’t seen much mental health talk in adult animation. “
Modern superheroes can develop cultural perceptions of underrepresented identities
Superheroes dominate today’s culture, and a handful of superhero creatives live together Diversity Senior Entertainment Writer Angelique Jackson for the development of superhero identities on the Modern Society panel. Whether it’s from a whimsical adventure story like “Ms.” The dark, over-the-top blood story of revenge, such as Marvel or “The Boys”, is evolving to bring even more under-represented voices representing superheroes in popular culture. “Shang-chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings” and the upcoming “Spider-Man For David Calaham, author of “Across the Spider-Verse”, being able to create stories that match his own identity is a new thing for him.
“It was made so normal for the first 17 years that, for sure, I’m going to write this story about this cute white guy,” he said. “And I’m trying to imagine if it was a story about this cute white guy or whatever. Five days after I started writing Shang-chi, I had a real emotional breakdown. Because I suddenly realized, ‘Holy shit.’ Something to say I have never said, but I have been actively hiding for a long time as a citizen and writer. ‘ So it’s amazing to be a part of this moment and to be able to see all these faces. “
Diversification pipelines are useful, but they are not all
At the Reality Checking Industry Diversity Pledge Panel, Senior Artisan Editor Jazz Tanke urged diversified and inclusive executives from across his industry to share their progress and what else needs to be done. Verna Myers, VP of Inclusion Strategy at Netflix, shared her perspective on the importance of diversification, the area behind the camera and the artists in front of it.
“If everyone is asking themselves each day through an inclusive lens, no matter what their job is, what they can do to increase representation and expand representation, we’re starting to see a real difference in front of the camera,” Myers said. “But what we’ve found with the Annenberg Foundation is that you have variety behind the camera – guess what? It looks at the front of the camera. It’s a lot about access and if you can expand access points, all sorts of things are possible. So, I think pipelines are very important, but people should pay attention to who is coming through and who is not.