Fresh News 9/30/21

Posted by on October 01, 2021

‘Judas And The Black Messiah’ Writer-Director Shaka King Inks First-Look Deal With FX Productions

Andre D. Wagner via Deadline

Judas and the Black Messiah writer-director-producer Shaka King is expanding his work in television, signing a first-look deal with FX Productions. Under the pact, King will develop new TV series for FX through his recently launched production company I’d Watch That, with the company’s co-founder Brandon Harris.

“We at FX have long been fans of Shaka King’s work and are honored to partner with him and his production company to create groundbreaking new television series,” said Nick Grad, President, Original Programming, FX. “Shaka’s stunning feature Judas and the Black Messiah rightfully garnered enormous attention and praise, the culmination of years devoted to honing his talents as a writer, director and producer, and we couldn’t be more thrilled for him to turn his attention to TV.”

Read more on Deadline.

HFPA Names Five Outside Journalists to Join Its Credentials Committee and Find New Members

Courtesy of HFPA

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has announced the latest step in its ongoing reform efforts, tapping five outside journalists to join its credentials committee, who will be tasked with helping to screen and select new members.

The HFPA notes that a third of its board is now made up of members of color, and is two-thirds female.

Joining the nine-member credentials committee are Tre’Vell Anderson, Terry Anzur, Bel Hernandez, Toni Moston and Dr. Allissa Richardson. Also on the Committee are current HFPA members Barbaros Tapan, Alessandra Venezia, Michele Manelis and HFPA president Helen Hoehne. The committee is expected to announce the HFPA’s new members by Friday.

Read more here

How Television Networks Are Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in 2021

Courtesy of CBS News

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which happens from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, television networks are unveiling slates of themed content including new campaigns, sports broadcasting, live specials and more.

Among this year’s programming options is NBCUniversal and Telemundo’s “Come With Us,” an initiative that includes special programming and digital elements designed to reach audiences in both English and Spanish. The campaign will kick off on “Today” and “Hoy Dia,” followed by an on-air roadblock during prime time. Telemundo will also incorporate social media initiatives, including “Latinos Imparables” and “Unstoppable Women.” NBCUniversal will incorporate segments and specials from NBC News and MSNBC, including “Generation LatinX,” “Dis(Owning) Hispanic” and “The New Latino Landscape.”

Read the full article here

Workforce Diversity: Analysis of Federal Data Shows Hispanics Are Underrepresented in the Media Industry

Courtesy of ACS

Hispanics are underrepresented in the media industry compared to their representation in the rest of the workforce, according to GAO's analysis of American Community Survey (ACS) data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2019, the most recent year data were available, Hispanics made up an estimated 12 percent of workers in the media industry, which includes film, television, publishing, and news, compared to an estimated 18 percent of workers in the rest of the workforce, which includes all other industries combined. Hispanic representation remained at an estimated 11 to 12 percent of the media industry workforce from 2014-2019, according to GAO's analysis of ACS data.

The estimated percentage of Hispanic workers varied by media sector. In 2019, the estimated percentage of Hispanic workers ranged from 8 percent in the publishing subsector to 16 percent for the film and video industry subsector.

Read the full report here

IATSE Leaders Say “Now Is The Time To Change The Culture Of Our Work Places” As Union Gears Up For Strike-Authorization Vote

Courtesy of Michael Buckner/Deadline

IATSE president Matthew Loeb and the presidents 13 Hollywood locals, saying that “now is the time to change the culture of our work places,” issued a joint statement Tuesday urging members to authorize a nationwide strike against film and TV production companies.

The union leaders said that the strike-authorization vote, which will be held October 1-3, “will empower our negotiators to secure a fair deal.”

“We each have witnessed first-hand the physical and emotional suffering our members and their loved ones endure as a result of punishing and unrealistic schedules, and lack of rest or meal breaks,” they said. “We have repeatedly seen the economic impact of inadequate rates for members who do not make a living wage, and the discounted ‘New Media’ pay rates that subsidize mature and profitable streaming businesses.

Read more here

The Lack Of Latinos In Media Could Affect How Others View Them, The Government Says

 Courtesy of AP

Latinos are perpetually absent in major newsrooms, Hollywood films and other media industries where their portrayals — or lack thereof — could deeply impact how their fellow Americans view them, according to a government report released Tuesday.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office to investigate last October.

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, has made the inclusion of Latinos in media a principal issue, imploring Hollywood studio directors, journalism leaders and book publishers to include their perspectives.

Read the full article here

Indigenous Women Share Media Industry Experiences

Excitement was tangible in the Zoom webinar as L.A. Skins Fest: Native American Women in Media panelists logged on for a night full of conversation about representation and inclusion. The event brought attendees across the United States Monday night to learn more about the experiences of Native American women in the film and television industry. 

The collaborative effort between the School of Cinematic Arts, Visions and Voices and L.A. Skins Fest — the latter described as “a film festival that provides opportunities for Native American filmmakers and offers additional programming to encourage them” — featured an impressive array of panelists ranging from filmmakers to actors. Alyssa London, founder and CEO of Culture Story, a company that creates media content that embraces the vitality of Native and Indigenous cultures, moderated the event and introduced the speakers. 

Read full story here.  

The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival Partners With Netflix To Expand Latinx Inclusion Fellowship

Courtesy of LALIFF

The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival announced a call for submissions for its second annual LALIFF Inclusion Fellowship which aims to champion underrepresented filmmakers within the Latinx community. With support from Netflix, LALIFF is doubling the number of fellows for the program’s second year: this year the Fellowship will be awarded to five visionary directors that identify as Indigenous Latino and five visionary directors that identify as Afro Latino.

“Last summer, LALIFF, and Netflix united to uplift the Afro Latino voices within our filmmaking community with the goal of moving Latino representation forward. As we move on to the second year of this crucial work, we are proud to continue our Afro Latino-focused fellowship, while at the same time adding a brand new cohort to our work— Indigenous Latinos,” says Academy Award-nominated actor, founder of the Latino Film Institute and co-founder of LALIFF, Edward James Olmos.

Read here

Latinx Writers Couldn’t Get Hollywood’s Attention. So They Came Up With Another Way

Photography of Dominique Nieves, Janet Quinonez and Jessica Buentello surrounded by a colorful frame

Courtesy of Somos Libres

During last year’s Latinx Heritage Month, Nuyorican actor and filmmaker Dominique Nieves launched a mentorship initiative for up-and-coming Latinx television writers having a harder-than-normal time getting their foot in the door. Using the hashtag #ReadLatinxWriters, Nieves issued a call on Twitter for established industry professionals willing to read scripts from Latinx writers and provide feedback. Then, she deployed the hashtag to encourage aspiring writers to sign up for mentorships. 
Through #ReadLatinxWriters, Nieves wound up pairing nearly 200 writers with mentors, including showrunners and executives from major studios like Walt Disney and 20th Television. The connections were so rewarding that Nieves is organizing another batch for a second cohort of mentees.
“To sit on a call with someone who says, ‘What can I do to help you?’ … from a showrunner, that’s unbelievable. That doesn’t happen,” says Janet Quiñonez, a Mexican-American writer that was paired with Jaclyn P. Moore, producer and writer for Netflix’s Dear White People and Peacock’s Queer as Folk.

Read the full story here

“I didn’t feel wanted by student media”: Few Black and Latinx students are editors of top college newspapers

Courtesy of Nieman Lab

Of the 73 editors-in-chief at award-winning college newsrooms in the Spring 2021 semester, less than 6% were Black, and approximately 10% were Latinx — significantly less than their share of the college population. In 2012, Marissa Evans wanted to make history when she applied to be editor-in-chief at Marquette University’s student newspaper, the Marquette Tribune.

If she got the job, she would become the second Black person — and first Black woman — to lead the Tribune since the paper was founded in 1916. Black students comprise less than 5% of the student body at the private university in Milwaukee, where Black residents make up 38% of the city’s population.

Besides having worked two years at the Marquette Tribune, Evans had already completed four internships and was an alumna of the prestigious New York Times Student Journalism Institute. By the time she applied for the editor position at the end of her junior year, she had already been selected for an internship at the Washington Post for that upcoming summer.

Read more here

Gloria Estefan on Latino representation in Hollywood: 'We have to keep talking about it'

Courtesy of Facebook Watch

Diversity is the buzziest sentiment in Hollywood. But statistics indicate not enough action has happened beyond the word for many communities – especially for Hispanics and Latinos. Across 1,300 of the top box office films between 2007 and 2019, just 48 lead or co-lead roles were Hispanic or Latino – just 3.5%, even though they make up 18.7% of the U.S. population, according to a recent University of Southern California study. And despite overdue representation in this year's Emmy nominations, Hispanics and Latinos failed to win any acting awards.

"The bottom line is, we have to keep talking about it," singer Gloria Estefan said in an interview. "We have to keep it in the news. We have to keep it in people's psyche." 

Read more here.