Black representation in media matters! Two recent examples only reiterate the need for us to control our image and our voices. Public pushback against Matt Damon and a TV soap actress objecting to potential gains shows that more people expect racial parity in front of and behind the camera.
Damon vehemently disagreed with African American producer Effie Brown during an episode of Project Greenlight when she mentioned there was a problem with having the only black character in a movie project be a prostitute. Her solution was that having black writers and producers would more likely ensure better representation than not. Damon expressed his belief that diversity was fulfilled with on-camera roles alone.
And you may recall the brouhaha when a TV soap actress—with two Emmys of her own—publicly lambasted Viola Davis’ groundbreaking Best Actress Emmy win.
Here at Black Enterprise, we’ve been having an ongoing conversation about black women leads and overall racism in the TV and film industries. In The Hollywood Reporter pre-Oscar roundtable, Lee Daniels pointedly asked whether his writer/producer peers had ensured racial equity amongst their staff. Watch the responses below.
A recent Nielsen Report that everyone is buzzing about states that blacks are the largest percentage group of TV show watchers and the fastest-growing $100K+ households. This only reiterates why we need to utilize our resources better.
With that kind of power, we should start thinking about ways to maximize the return on our investments in not only making TV shows and movies successful, but ensuring that we are in charge by building our own networks and infrastructure.