Five Takeaways: New Initiatives to Amplify Black Voices
June 11, 2020
The world has shifted since the last Five Takeaways was published. George Floyd’s death and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests are changing the political landscape before our eyes. There is a new normal, and imagining returning to the old is something we don’t want to do. Calls for change to the entertainment landscape are loud and clear. New initiatives to amplify Black voices, and to hire more often and right now are emerging every day. Hopefully this is just the beginning.
#STARTWITH8HOLLYWOOD CREATING IMMEDIATE MENTOR OPPORTUNITIES
Just six of the top 500 box office films of all time feature a woman of color. Thuc Nguyen creator of The Bitch List has created #StartWith8Hollywood to immediately take action to start changing the film landscape now. Nguyen is connecting writers of color with mentors across the business. Her first class of 8 writers has been connected, and she’s currently still looking for more mentors to keep the initiative going. Interested in mentoring? Email Thuc here: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE WOMEN OF COLOR UNITE/THE JTC LIST WORKING TO GET WOC HIRED NOW
Producer Cheryl L. Bedford founded Women of Color Unite and created the accompanying The JTC List (google doc with all the members) with the mission to re-examine the way Black women (and WOC) have been portrayed throughout history and get women of color hired for positions in film, television, and media. Bitch Pack and WOCU have partnered for #StartWith8Hollywood. Bedford has created an easy access Google doc of creators currently working in the industry. To submit to the list visit: thejtclist.com - To help Bedford continue her connection efforts with the largest non-profit of group supporting WOC in Hollywood, you can donate here.
HELPING BLACK WRITERS GET READ RIGHT NOW
Writer/ Director Lucien Flories has been helping to aggregate some of the writers and producers who have opened their Twitter DMs to read Black writers right now. Here are a few offering to read at the moment: @BenBlacker @jennyjaffe @kmcnaule @leilacohan @lizbenjamin @emilyzulauf @riverag3000 @schoutout @ace_face_14
Follow the hashtag #ReadBlackWriters for more as well as #WGASolidarityChallenge where staffers are now calling to read Black writers. Additionally, in honor of Juneteenth #RaisethePercentage has been announced to connect Black writers with TV writing mentors for a virtual coffee. For more information: https://cutt.ly/FyMO2PX Finally, @FranklinLeonard is offering to help Black writers who currently reach out with a Twitter pitch about their current work.
Written by: Lindsay StidhamLindsay holds an MFA in screenwriting from the American Film Institute. She has overseen two scripts from script to screen as a writer/ producer. SPOONER, starring Matthew Lillard (SLAMDANCE), and DOUCHEBAG (SUNDANCE) both released theatrically. Most recently Lindsay sold PLAY NICE starring Mary Lynn Rajskub. The series was distributed on Hulu. Recent directing endeavors include the Walla Walla premiering (and best screenplay nominated) TIL DEATH DO US PART, and the music video for Bible Belt’s Tomorrow All Today. Lindsay is currently working on an interactive romcom for the production company Effin' Funny, and a feature film script for Smarty Pants Pictures. Lindsay also currently works as an Adjunct Screenwriting Faculty member at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. You can follow her work here: https://lindsaystidham.onfabrik.com/