The Changemakers:

Tactics for Equality and Diversity in Film and Television

By Susan Kouguell

Panel discussion at the 2015 Produced By New York Conference

President of Global Grind Civil Rights Organizer Michael Skolnik, Founder, Duly Noted, Inc.; Project Greenlight, Dear White People Effie T. Brown, Founder & CEO of MACRO Charles King, President of Gamechanger Films Mynette Louie, Television writer Pete Nowalk, Founder & President of LTW Lindsey Taylor Wood
Getty Images: President of Global Grind Civil Rights Organizer Michael Skolnik, Founder, Duly Noted, Inc.; Project Greenlight, Dear White People Effie T. Brown, Founder & CEO of MACRO Charles King, President of Gamechanger Films Mynette Louie, Television writer Pete Nowalk, Founder & President of LTW Lindsey Taylor Wood

In the lively and informative morning panel The Changemakers: Tactics for Equality and Diversity in Film and Television at the Produced By Conference at the Time Warner Center in New York, the conversation focused on the importance of taking action and concrete ideas to ensure that more people of color and women find opportunities in all levels of the film and television industry.

The speakers:

Effie T. Brown
Founder, Duly Noted, Inc.; “Project Greenlight,” “Dear White People.”

Charles D. King
Founder & CEO, MACRO

Mynette Louie
President, Gamechanger Films

Pete Nowalk
“How to Get Away with Murder”

Lindsey Taylor Wood
Founder & President, LTW

Moderator Michael Skolnik (President, Global Grind Civil Rights Organizer) opened with several statistics from the 2015 UCLA report on diversity from the Bunch Center: HERE

The report looked at 175 films, and 1,015 television shows over two years.

Lead actors: 75 % men, 25 % women
Directors: 94 % men, 6 % women
Writers: 87% men, 13% women
Television show creators: 71% men, 29% women
Lead actors: 83% white, 17% people of color
Directors: 82% white, 18 % people of color
Writers: 88% white, 12% people of color
Show creators 94 % white, 6 % people of color
Cable television show creators: 89 % white, 11% people of color

And perhaps what drew the loudest audience gasp from Skolnik’s last statistic:
CEO and chairs of the 18 studios: 94 % white and 100% men.

Skolnik : The good news is, if there is good news, is that the audience is demanding much more of us, and certainly on television there has been an explosion of diverse audiences on and off screen.

Skolnick asked the panel about some proud moments in their career.

Brown: In ‘Project Greenlight’ you are actually able to see an inclusive crew that looks like America. So, people watching in Middle America, for example, could see that they have a voice and place in film.

 

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