Repping Media & TV For Kick-Butt Ladies Is Here!

Media Representation Initiative Project
This is a creative initiative advocating for more balance in roles in front of and behind the camera. As well as higher quality projects that offer representation in media for women.
I’m trying to get a full scale media project funded. With a robust web site, production consultation services, creating scripted series and other content.

HAVE YOU NOTICED EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT ‘DIVERSITY’?
What’s going on right now is a revenue shuffle and power grab. Other groups are positioning themselves – often based on the initiatives of others. YOU need to pay attention!
We don’t want to push for “diversity”……but nuanced and reciprocal inclusion and parity. And to have our own projects, alliances and resources available for our use exclusively.
We’re not beggars. This isn’t a plea to others to “do the right thing”. Master’s House…Master’s Tools and all that…
Advertisers may know a demographic’s value more than we do!  Media companies may even spread inaccurate information about certain groups to prop up another. There are many layers, facets and nuances to this. Suffice it to say, we have to use our thinking caps and see the big picture to cut through a lot of the confusion. We observed other forums take a firm stance about distancing oneself from a lot of media, to not support things that weren’t beneficial.
“Movies make magic. They change things. They take the real and make it into something else, right before our very eyes….”  apply other genres

                                                                                               ~~~ Reel to Real bell hooks

Creating Our Own Bechdel Test –

The Bechdel Test, sometimes called the Mo Movie Measure or Bechdel Rule is a simple test which names the following three criteria: (1) it has to have at least two women in it, who (2) who talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man
We want more robust characters, not swatched in stereotypes or a “struggle” life.
MEDIA & TV & FILM (& PLAYS ??)

  • Who’s being represented and how.
  • Who gets to tell the stories and what they decide to tell.
  • What processes are determined? Who are the established industry players? Can you bypass anyone?
  • Who can be an ally? Do you want to write, produce, direct? Work behind the scenes in other capacities, like Music Supervisor or Grip?
  • Data mining is very important to show stats of who’s buying movie tickets, whose viewership makes or breaks a show.
  • What training and resources are available? Can you get a mentor? Should you start of with a short, YouTube series, submit to a film festival or something else entirely?

 

IF WE DON’T HELP OURSELVES FIRST…..

We can’t be a trend or a fad. We have to create our own infrastructure. Which is why we have some work to do. You can donate to the Media TV Project.

Power Of Black Women In TV Fandom

I worked as the Digital Managing Editor curating and assigning several dozen articles to shift readership to a more higher level vibration focus and to increase engagement. The above linked article is was what I’d refer to as my signature piece that I’m still very proud of. We published this the morning after Viola Davis won her Lead Actress Emmy – where she discussed how more opportunities for black actresses led to that type of recognition.

Here’s an excerpt:

Just having a black female lead isn’t enough though. Characters who are black women often fall into many negative stereotypes. They are often written as fat, sassy, aggressive, angry, self-indulgent, hypersexual, and gold digging single mothers. Rarely are they portrayed as vulnerable, desirable, loving, carefree, silly, elegant, soft or genteel.

The rare characters that become love interests for a white male protagonist are often sidelined for a white woman.

Black women characters are often forced into the “Mammy” caricature: a workhorse forced to care for white characters, carry their burdens, and assist in cleaning up their messes. Characters who fall into the “Mammy” trope often martyr themselves for the sake of white characters.

Fans want a character that is just as three dimensional as the others on her show. We want characters who won’t be neglected and sidelined. We do not want characters who will be abused for the sake of furthering a white character’s story. Any adversity or pain she experiences should further her own character growth foremost.
This was also where we witnessed an aging white soap opera actress with TWO Daytime Emmys go on a very public rage-fest at the mere idea a black actress was celebrated. The lead actress on a hit show on the same network. Everybody and their mother knows Viola Davis can act!
I realized the importance of having the right venue and vehicle to discuss this. What was great about using that platform at the time was the name recognition and that the conversation was not happening at other commercial publications anywhere else. From a strategy perspective, I knew the impact and timing was going to create a certain amount of buzz. More importantly, people would begin connecting the dots.

ALL of the actresses responded to the article (not saying anything specific just acknowledging that it was out there) and Essence did a dumbed-down copy-cat version a few days later. I’m glad they did it because that means it really resonated! These messages needs to be controlled by people with a clear vision and goal in mind. I have a “binder” full of ideas like this! Doing everything solo is not the most efficient use of my time, however. Tambay is at a similar crossroads. See his

INDUSTRY EXAMPLES

Taraji P. Henson & Nicole Beharie

Fired from Point Of Interest. Her character Joss Carter was killed off unceremoniously and was not organic to the show. She was grossly unappreciated and her draw was ignored. Viewers weren’t pleased and the actress had to be pragmatic in her response to questions about why she left the show! (Racism and sexism of course).
Cast as the lead on Empire. People tuned in out of curiosity. Advertisers would not bite. Fox ran the show and ate the costs. That’s why it aired with “limited commercials”. The show resonated with a wide variety of audiences and became successful.
So successful that it toppled the #1 show on tv, a CBS comedy. Fox made up for the initial advertiser reticence by charging Superbowl-level ad rates. Media began discussing the “Empire effect” and there was discussion in the industry about casting more black women as leads.

While some ADVOCACY has occurred there is still much obstructionism that remains intact. Viewers created a hashtag #AbbieMillsDeservesBetter hashtag to describe the way the popular character was being poorly written on Sleepy Hollow. But despite Fox firing one showrunner after viewer backlash for the entirety of the Season 2 plot, hiring a new one and a renewal for Season 3 Sleepy Hollow continues to ignore the last of its audience for no logical reason. When a show drops from 14.5M viewers to less than 3M due to the sidelining of its lead actress and convoluted plots it DESERVES to be canceled. Fox butchered the opportunity for a zeitgeist-changing show to a cautionary tale of all the things that can go wrong.

Person Of Interest lost millions of viewers and angered many more. No one believed Taraji voluntarily left the show. Two years later….CBS has canceled the show.

ALL LIVES DO MATTER (these are some of the subversion tactics going on right now)

Why non-black ‘women of color’ cannot be representative of all non-white women

During Awards season, we saw a slew of actors, directors and other industry insiders dismiss, ridicule or outright hijack the discussion of ‘diversity’, Oscars So White and beyond

Inserting non-black people of color as the ‘diversity slot’ on shows may still lead to the erasure of black actors. Although since this is still a patriarchal society, more roles are available to black men, so black women will can’t assume there will be roles automatically created with them in mind..

Why white women DO NOT representative of ALL women

Using black male/white women pairings that are ONLY in service to propping up the white woman role serves a narrow
SHOWRUNNERS ARE NOT GODS

If you’ve been online in the past 24 hours and in any active tv fandoms, the backlash against CW’s subpar version of #Arrow is in the midst of an epic social media beat-down for the decision to kill its canon heroine, Black Canary for NO REASON WHATSOEVER. But before the DUDEBROs thought up that genius plot, they killed off Amanda Waller, Shado, Moira Queen, Slade, Deathstroke — all of the INTERESTING characters to support a crack ship (media trope) that most viewers don’t like, #Olicity.
This is a running theme on that particular network with shows produced by Greg Berlanti, related to comic books. The argument may be those are the most popular shows on the network, but the push for male viewers and reinforcing bias comes at the expense of common sense far too often. They’ve already made two serious attempts at replacing Iris West for a non-canon ship * see the Black Women In Fandom article for a refresher of these tactics.
This is also why Scandal has lost HALF its viewership in between the Fall hiatus and Spring return. And this is a show helmed by another black woman! People are fed up with being insulted by writers and seeing their favorite characters treated like crap for no logical reason.
In other instances, writing teams will take nuanced cues from audiences and make little tweaks that are appreciated. Sometimes they’ll listen, other times they’ll ignore viewers but they see the data from social media engagement because networks can afford to pay for powerful software tools to track and analyze everything. In addition, discussions can be categorized with a hashtag, show title, network affiliation and any staff we’d like to address if they have established accounts.
Hate-watching a show — or if not outright hate but APATHY — is the death knoll for viewer churn. As soon as something else comes on that’s more interesting…buh bye!

INFRASTRUCTURE & RELATIONSHIPS

    • We want to go after grant money, start-up investment, etc.
  • Data mining is very important to show stats of who’s buying movie tickets, whose viewership makes or breaks a show. How some shows are renewed based on other factors than ratings.
    • Website that covers tv show reviews
    • We need ACCURATE number-crunching & legit critique
  • Address the mostly one-sided representation on tv show and movie recap sites and the lack of competent criticism
    • Interviews with casts, creators and up and comers in the industry
  • Education component to help audience apply critical thinking to their evaluations
  • Producing ORIGINAL Content
  • What network will carry the show or develop one  (that can impact how much the network supports the show, what kind of stake they have invested)
  • Will it be an in-house production team i.e ABC Studios, a joint venture or independent Production company
  • Is it original?
  • Is it an adapted story?
  • Who’s the showrunner?
  • Did they also create the show or were they hired afterwards?
  • Who is the Executive Producer?
  • What level of clout the writer may or may not have

I’ve had half a dozen informal direct conversations via social media platforms with tv show-runners, actors and senior writers about the quality of scripts, the scope of character development, who’s on their staff behind the camera and whether we are being represented in proportion to our participation (not the population). There have also been a few indirect observations of our conversations on why certain shows are working (and to what extent) and why others are flailing or DOA.
I’m not interested in getting into a QUOTA bottle-neck as some are offering that as a solution. If the data breakdown for a show indicates more than one-third of its audience is black, then there should be black cast members and writers. This goes back to the purchasing power of black women. Those kind of numbers are the difference between whether a show stays on the air or gets canceled, whether it’s on the fence or a hit.

Architects of Vision

Conceptualize a sophisticated, audience-focused digital strategy

Develop and direct all manifestations of our media initiatives to include the website social media, podcasts, streaming audio, and future mobile products

DISTRIBUTION OPPORTUNITIES

Starz is offering a standalone streaming app, CBS trying to acquire more customers for its All Access Pass,  Hulu just announced it’s partnering with Cablevision to have a channel on their lineup. Pepsi just purchased a stand-alone studio in Manhattan as a hub to produce original content. We need to stay on top of technology trends, streaming and distribution avenues and to be in a position to make deals.
TARGETS

  • Website
  • Visual and Video Content
  • Outreach
  • Grant & Foundation Applications
  • Private Forum
  • Show Review
  • Conference
  • Industry Overview
  • White Papers/Info
  • Podcast
  • Screenwriting
  • Film Submission
  • Industry Events
  • Industry Memberships
  • Trainings
  • Media Criticism For Couch Surfers
  • Global Resources
  • Cataloging
  • Data Collection & Analysis
  • Pay For Contributors  

WANNA HELP?!

Say yes!

To a pleasurable viewing experience. You don’t have to brace yourself for a sucker punch of negativity.

Say yes!

To feeling GOOD about yourself after consuming this product/show/etc.

Say yes!

To not needing to see other people behave foolishly to feel better about your life because you are fulfilled in other ways.

Say yes!

To supporting projects that create more opportunities for your faves. And those who may be new to you.
I’m asking for contributions, preferably $50 MINIMUM + per person.

Say yes!

To starting the conversation.

Say yes!

To feeling inspired and energized. You want to TALK to your friends about what you just watched.

Say yes!

To having a new set of tools in your arsenal

***$10,250 pre-seed fundraising amount with a more robust $250,000 workable budget.


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