If you didn’t score your Ava DuVernay Barbie on the day of release, expect to pay a hefty premium over the $65 MSRP. Despite all the fanfare and attention, DuVernay has been able to keep things in perspective. “People have really been kind talking about why they are embracing this doll, but it’s certainly not about me. It’s about the image. That’s what they’re responding to,” DuVernay said in a phone interview on Monday morning with BuzzFeed News. “It’s about balance. It’s about the full spectrum of who we are. It’s not enough even to have one black Barbie … because black women are not a monolith. We have all different kinds of hair, all different kinds of occupations, all different kinds of passions, so I think what folks might be responding to is the variance.” On top of her level head, DuVernay will be donating all her proceeds from the doll to civil rights advocacy group ColorOfChange.org and human rights nonprofit Witness. Click here to read more.
Both Lionsgate and the director of its upcoming Gods Of Egypt have apologized for the film’s much-disparaged casting, with Lionsgate releasing a statement, first reported by Forbes today, conceding that the company “failed to live up to our own standards of sensitivity and diversity.”
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Network television hasn’t always been proactive about diversity in casting but when you look at ABC’s line up within the past few years, you’ll notice shows such as How To Get Away With Murder, Scandal and Quantico where women of color are playing lead roles. Well you can thank Keli Lee, EVP of Talent and Casting for ABC, for that. Click here for her one on one Forbes article.
Ebony’s November 2015 cover stirred up some controversy as it featured a smashed glass-covered vintage photo of Bill Cosby and the rest of the cast of the hit ’80s family comedy series, The Cosby Show.
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Priyanka Chopra may not be a household name in America right now, but she’s no stranger to the world of entertainment. After winning the Miss World title in 2000, Chopra has added numerous Bollywood movies to her resume and is one of the highest paid actors in the genre.
In 2012 Priyanka and her manager met Keli Lee, the executive vice president for talent and casting for ABC Entertainment Group, at a dinner party. As Ms. Lee named some of the actors she’d helped place through the company’s diversity efforts — Sofia Vergara in “Modern Family,” Sandra Oh in “Grey’s Anatomy” and Kerry Washington in “Scandal” Priyanka’s manager remarked, “Well, you haven’t done a South Asian yet, and we’re one-fifth of the population.” Well Keli Lee can now add South Asian to her list of racially diverse casting credits as ABC prepares for the premiere of Quantico next Sunday, September 27.
Click here to read the New York Times article.
Talk about irony. Season 4 of HBO’s Project Greenlight premiered on Sunday night to much controversy after Matt Damon interrupted the only African-American female filmmaker in the room to squeeze in a bit of “diversity training.”
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Last Friday, Marvel Entertainment announced its first Korean American superhero in the form of teenage prodigy, Amadeus Cho, as the new Hulk. In an effort to modernize and create diversity both on and off the pages, Marvel tapped Korean American artist Frank Cho and writer Greg Pak as the duo responsible for the much anticipated Totally Awesome Hulk series. The decision is a monumental step in rebranding the Asian stereotype in media; how often are characters of Asian descent casted as major leads?
Funny how things have changed since the early days of MTV when it was a still big deal to see Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, on the channel. Fast forward to 2015 and anyone tuned in to see the VMAs witnessed transgender people, South Korean-born music video director Joseph Kahn and RuPaul’s Drag Race drag queens all gracing the stage as presenters, winners and performers. Things done changed. Click here to read full Mashable article.
14 years ago today on August 25, 2001, the Princess of R&B, also known as Aaliyah Dana Haughton died in a tragic plane crash in the Bahamas. Aaliyah was at the peak of her young career, and is listed by Billboard as the 10th most successful female R&B artist of the past 25 years. The death of Aaliyah is one of the most well losses in the history of music, and it’s only appropriate that we remember everything she accomplished in her lifetime.