NCTA — The Internet & Television Association

Hollywood Creative Forum: Encouraging Diversity in Television Programming

Hollywood Creative Forum: Encouraging Diversity in Television Programming

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Black History Month may be nearing its end, but every year it’s a good reminder that we must continue to strive for more representation of underrepresented groups on the screen and behind the scenes of our favorite shows. The inclusion and positive portrayal of women and minorities on television and media not only recognizes our diverse viewership, but also sends the message that people of all classes, races, ethnicities, and sexual orientation need to be seen and heard in order for us to accomplish great things.

Some of the brightest and most talented writers, creators, producers and executives in entertainment are gathered this week for this purpose at the Hollywood Creative Forum in Los Angeles, hosted by the Walter Kaitz Foundation. The Walter Kaitz Foundation, cable’s diversity advocate, has called together big names and small in the industry to discuss and highlight diversity in content and programming. “ The goal of the Forum is to connect diverse content creators with the industry’s networks and production companies,” said David Porter, executive director of the foundation.

The Forum, in its seventh year,  kicked off today with director, producer, and actor Bill Duke, currently CEO of Duke Media Entertainment, who provided the audience with insights based on his career and understanding of the industry. Duke discussed the challenges of living in racially charged times, working inside the framework of Hollywood, and the process for directing stories that are diverse.

The speakers and panelists featured at the two-day event come from an array of networks, including El Rey, Oprah Winfrey Network, Sony, and Disney, to name just a few. The sessions aim to shed light on the portrayal of people of color and different cultures in scripted and reality content and the consumption habits of multicultural viewers. A presentation from Google is set to dispel stereotypes about how women in computer science are portrayed in media, film and television.

The other piece that the forum emphasizes is the networking opportunity for minorities in the business. The agenda boasts panels and sessions aimed at sharing best practices, from “Becoming a Top Showrunner in Hollywood” to learning how to achieve success on the YouTube platform–straight from the mouths of successful YouTube sensations.

Visit the Walter Kaitz Foundation to learn more about cable’s diversity initiatives.