Tumblr page for Racebending.com - Media Consumers for Entertainment Equality.

Please feel free to browse our tumblr page for the latest community-sourced information about media representation in Hollywood.

Reblogged from glockgal  2,187 notes

When we [Beatriz and fellow Latina Melissa Fumero] got cast, I got really nervous. I thought, ‘The network’s not going like this. One of us is gonna get fired!’” Television was far less diverse when she was growing up, and Beatriz is delighted by the changes. But there’s still a long way to go. “I celebrate every step any actor of color takes,” she says, “because their success is my success and vice versa.

By

Stephanie Beatriz on Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s diverse cast and representation in media. (x)

Important stuff.

(via glockgal)
Reblogged from micdotcom  16,239 notes

policymic:

With ‘Fresh Off the Boat’, ABC will air the first Asian-American sitcom in 20 years

The last time an Asian-American family had their own American sitcom was in 1994. The show was Margaret Cho’s All-American Girl and while the Korean-American comedy was poised to be groundbreaking, it didn’t pull the ratings ABC wanted and was canceled after one season. Cho says executives found it to be either “too Asian” or “not Asian enough,” and the sitcom’s premise changed so many times that by the end of its run, it looked nothing like the culture clash family comedy it originally set out to be. 

This fall, an Asian-American TV family will make television history by helming the first Asian-American-focused sitcom since Cho’s one-season show. Fresh Off The Boat, based on the memoir by chef and restaurateur Eddie Huang, takes place in 1990s Orlando and follows the lives of 12-year-old Huang’s Taiwainesse immigrant family, and the culture shock that ensues when they move from Washington D.C. to Florida. The show stars Randall Park (who Veep fans will recognize as Danny Chung) and is a long-overdue win for Asian-American representation in the primetime slot. 

Read moreFollow policymic

Reblogged from allerasphinx  972 notes

My inaugural year on Grey’s Anatomy was defined by two points: my character’s boyfriend and the episode when said relationship began. For the audience, the episode is noteworthy because it features a classic spectacles-to-contacts, curly-to-straight transformation. For myself it’s noteworthy because, even after Carol’s Daughter in Sephora, I Am Not My Hair on Billboard’s Hot 100 and decades of mop-headed kids in GAP commercials, the public still goes batshit over bone-straight hair on a black woman.

After the episode aired, the praise I received from strangers, friends and even my own family was staggering. I suddenly had mass-appeal and the undertone was clear: with a single blow-dry, I had arrived.

What was intended as flattery was profoundly insulting and it hurt me deeply to realize my natural form wasn’t considered feminine or desirable.

The response ignited that same young rebellion I had all those years ago. My hair had graduated from the purview of my parents to become of direct concern to the masses and, in both cases, no one considered the effect on the person at the center.

By

Jerrika Hinton in Creating A Center Part

She plays Stephanie Edwards (the Black female intern) on Grey’s Anatomy. I follow her on here and twitter and remember when this episode aired, she posted something along the lines of funny how a little hair straightening changes everything (paraphrasing). I knew then that she was one of my faves…so glad she went through with writing this up.

(via christel-thoughts)

We, the marginalized, all have some version of that story. You know the one: When I grew up, I never saw people like me in magazines/on TV/in books/in movies. This is how I learned that my skin color/eye shape/hair/nose/culture/sexuality/identity/entire self is peripheral to the rest of the United States. Our country projects to the world an image of white heteronormativity, an image that was never true, and becomes more ridiculous as we progress through the 21stcentury.

So when I first watched “Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell,” I couldn’t believe it actually existed. As a real show. On a TV channel. With a set and everything. This contradicted everything I knew about the world: Black men who do comedy criticizing catcalling, anti-Muslim bias and homophobia do not get a national megaphone.

And it wasn’t just Kamau, as if one black man over 6 feet tall plus another 4 inches of ’fro weren’t enough. No, there were more black guys, one with dreds all the way down to here, a couple of desis and a lesbian woman with soft butch style. A Japanese guy! A gay man! And not as caricatures written by other people, but as themselves doing their own jokes! About their own lives! Suddenly, my screen resembled my reality, and it was blowing my mind: These were my people!

Every time I watched “Totally Biased,” I felt like I was watching history, a revolution in television. I laughed my ass off, but I was also in awe. For the first time in my life, it was like someone was writing TV for me.

Except I wasn’t watching it on television, but on my laptop like, I’m told, many of us do these days. Because Internet in my household is a necessity, but between a mortgage and preschool tuition, cable TV is a luxury we can’t afford. We do “new media” by default. So once a week after the kids were in bed, my husband and I settled down with cookies and bourbon to stream “Totally Biased.”

By

 on the cancellation of the TV show Totally Biased with W Kamau Bell.

What is certain is that a show like “Totally Biased” is a huge risk. The content and the cast place it far outside most of what mainstream American audiences have seen before. But as America’s demographics shift, the audience for a show that tackles issues of race, gender, class, immigration and sexuality is only going to grow. So why place the show in a weakened position? The transition from a weekly show to a nightly show would surely make for an uneven performance as everyone adapted to a more demanding schedule. Why put it out of reach for many in the core audience as well as making it harder for new viewers to find it?

So when I saw the news via Facebook yesterday that “Totally Biased” had been canceled, the sinking in my chest wasn’t completely unexpected. According to Splitsider, the show’s ratings had dropped after the move to FXX. The article included this tidbit: “On some nights, ‘Totally Biased’ has been the lowest-rated late night show on cable, mostly thanks to FXX being available in 26 million fewer homes than FX.”

I hardly feel surprised that “Totally Biased” is the first cancelation for FXX. I hardly feel surprised that executives decided to cancel it rather than roll it back to one night a week or return it to FX. I hardly feel surprised that those executives blame the show for poor ratings rather than their ill-conceived strategy.

But I do feel sharp disappointment and anger.

W. Kamau Bell and the “Totally Biased” crew showed us that another television is possible. We don’t have to go back; we can keep pushing forward for TV that includes the authentic voices of people of color, LGBT people and women, made for us by us. But to do that, we have to raise hell about the cancellation of “Totally Biased.” FXX’s story is that this kind of TV won’t sell. We have to prove them wrong.

Reblogged from laffbending  5,621 notes

I honestly never imagined I would actually get to do this. No, like seriously. I never imagined as a black, African-American 20-something, I would be able to do this. You just don’t see it. It’s just not a reality. When they called me in, I read it and I was like, “Okay, cool, this is great.” I never saw myself as someone who would be able to tote a gun and be also in a fantasy piece, but I welcome it with open arms because I grew up on comic books and action films… I love those things, but I’ve never seen myself as a representative. So hats f***ing off, hats off to Bob and Alex and Fox for saying, “We’re going to cast this girl as the gun toting apocalyptic crusader and witness.” It’s amazing.

By Nicole Beharie re: the character Abbie Mills and Sleepy Hollow (x)
Lee and Low books continues to produce awesome infographics and interviews on diversity gaps in Hollywood.  In this infographic, they identified facts such as the following:
No woman of color has ever won an Emmy Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series
In the last twenty years, winners in the Best Director of a Comedy Series were 100% white and 95% male
An African American woman has not been nominated for lead actress in a Comedy Series since The Cosby Show (1986)
Lee and Low also interviewed actor/writers Luisa Leschin and Kelvin Yu about their experiences in Hollywood to accompany the infographic.   Check it out here!  You can also look at their previous infographics on the Tony Awards and Children’s Publishing!

Lee and Low books continues to produce awesome infographics and interviews on diversity gaps in Hollywood.  In this infographic, they identified facts such as the following:

  • No woman of color has ever won an Emmy Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series
  • In the last twenty years, winners in the Best Director of a Comedy Series were 100% white and 95% male
  • An African American woman has not been nominated for lead actress in a Comedy Series since The Cosby Show (1986)

Lee and Low also interviewed actor/writers Luisa Leschin and Kelvin Yu about their experiences in Hollywood to accompany the infographic.   Check it out here!  You can also look at their previous infographics on the Tony Awards and Children’s Publishing!

asianamericanfilmlab:

ABC’s Head of Casting Keli Lee Provides Opportunities for Minority Actors of Color

by ADA TSENG
For everyone who’s grateful for the recent rise of minority non-white faces on American television, it’s important to note that behind every Sandra Oh inGrey’s Anatomy, every Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Jorge Garcia and Naveen Andrews in Lost, is a casting director responsible for pairing these actors with the unforgettable roles that will go down in television history.
Keli Lee, who has been casting TV shows at ABC for more than 20 years, was on her way to law school when she landed a fortuitous college internship that introduced her to the entertainment casting industry. In her first week working for Phyllis Huffman, who often did casting for Clint Eastwood’s films, Lee operated the video camera that captured the auditions for the Academy Award-winning 1992 filmUnforgiven. From there, she eventually worked her way up the ladder, and as Executive Vice President of Casting at ABC, Lee now has a corner office with a view and spends her days looking for the next new star.
Born in South Korea, Lee moved to the States as a toddler, and while her father stayed behind in Korea for work, her adventurous, road trip-loving mother would move her young kids to a new state every six or seven months on a whim.
“Up until I was 13, I never started or finished the same school, so I met thousands of people from around the country,” says Lee. “It forced me to socialize and understand people, and ultimately I think that’s how I got to be good at what I do. I’m searching for people and learning about their emotional core.”
For Lee, more important than finding a good-looking specimen or skilled thespian is determining whether the actor is authentic.
“I think within the first 10 seconds of meeting someone, you can get a sense of a person,” says Lee. “You know whether you want to continue to watch them.”
Twelve years ago, Lee started the ABC Casting Department’s Talent Showcase with the goal of providing more opportunities for minority actors of color who either don’t have representation or aren’t even aware of the opportunities available. Since its inception, 14,000 people have auditioned, and 432 actors have participated in 30 showcases, with winners earning mentorships.
Beneficiaries of this program include Liza Lapira (Crazy Stupid Love,Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23), Carrie Ann Inaba (Dancing with the Stars), Aaron Yoo (Disturbia, 21), Archie Kao (CSI), Randall Park (Larry Crowne, The Five-Year Engagement), and Janina Gavankar (True Blood, The L Word).
In the upcoming fall season on ABC, TV audiences can look out for Ming-Na Wen and Chloe Wang Bennet in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Liza Lapira inSuper Fun Night,Ginger Gonzaga inMixology, Summer Bishil in Lucky 7, and Albert Tsai inTrophy Wife.
“My goal is to change the face of television,” says Lee. “When I came to the U.S. at age 2, there wasn’t much diversity on television, and now, it’s such a different time.”
***
On how she ended up in the casting industry:“Like most Korean American families, entertainment [as a career] was not an option. It was the stereotype, ‘Are you going to be a doctor or a lawyer?’ So, I had planned to go to law school, I was studying philosophy at NYU, and I was a hostess at Caroline’s Comedy Club, so it was the comedians who introduced me to the world of entertainment. I actually fell into this business. I got an internship in casting and worked my way up, while I went to school full time at NYU. First, I worked at Warner Brothers, and then I went to ABC, where I’ve been for 21 years.”
On starting ABC Casting Department’s Talent Showcase to find diverse talent:“Twelve years ago, we were talking about diversity and thinking about how we can provide more opportunities for diverse actors, so I started this showcase program to give exposure and training to actors who either don’t have the representation or aren’t even aware of the opportunities that exist. After my team auditions the actors, we select the top 15 to 20, and we put them through this training program. Usually you have material, and you find people to play the characters, but this is the reverse: we find the right actors and then try to find the right material for them. Some of the actors who’ve gone through this program that we’re excited about are: Liza Lapira, who was onDon’t Trust The B—- in Apt 23, Jorge Garcia fromLost, Dania Ramirez fromDevious Maids, and Jesse Williams onGrey’s Anatomy.”
On their first digital talent competition this summer:“This is new. We’re the first network to launch a digital talent competition. We had over 14,000 submissions, we’re having a public vote, and the winner will be announced on Aug. 30. The winner gets $10,000 and a talent option hold with ABC. Just based on the submissions, I’m excited to be able to find new faces. These are actors from around the country, they are coming from everywhere, from Florida to Alabama, and it’s really great to hear some of their stories.”
On the Latino and Asian Outreach Initiatives:“This is international. We started this program last year. For the Latino Outreach, we targeted Mexico, Latin America and Spain, and I’m excited to say that one of actors we found in first year of the Latino Outreach Initiative, Adan Canto, was cast as series regular in Mixology. The Asian Outreach Initiative started in India, and we just expanded to the Philippines this year.”
Who influences you?“I have an amazing circle of really strong, smart, successful female friends, and we feed off that positive energy and help each other out. That’s part of what I do in my profession, I’m helping people realize their dreams, and that’s what we do for each other. I often have these conversations with my girlfriends, where I wish I had women as role models or mentors, so now that we’re in our positions, we think, how can we help empower other women and be role models for them? All these female pioneers paved the way for us, so how can we pave the way for other women?”

Slight edits, since the term “minority” is inaccurate and offensive. Wonderful interview with an industry professional who is making big change. If you’re an actor (or writer, or director), do check out the diversity initiatives of major studios. ABC, FOX, CBS, and Disney all have talent showcases and other opportunities that could be that break you need. It never hurts to put yourself out there and take a chance!

asianamericanfilmlab:

ABC’s Head of Casting Keli Lee Provides Opportunities for Minority Actors of Color

by ADA TSENG

For everyone who’s grateful for the recent rise of minority non-white faces on American television, it’s important to note that behind every Sandra Oh inGrey’s Anatomy, every Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Jorge Garcia and Naveen Andrews in Lost, is a casting director responsible for pairing these actors with the unforgettable roles that will go down in television history.

Keli Lee, who has been casting TV shows at ABC for more than 20 years, was on her way to law school when she landed a fortuitous college internship that introduced her to the entertainment casting industry. In her first week working for Phyllis Huffman, who often did casting for Clint Eastwood’s films, Lee operated the video camera that captured the auditions for the Academy Award-winning 1992 filmUnforgiven. From there, she eventually worked her way up the ladder, and as Executive Vice President of Casting at ABC, Lee now has a corner office with a view and spends her days looking for the next new star.

Born in South Korea, Lee moved to the States as a toddler, and while her father stayed behind in Korea for work, her adventurous, road trip-loving mother would move her young kids to a new state every six or seven months on a whim.

“Up until I was 13, I never started or finished the same school, so I met thousands of people from around the country,” says Lee. “It forced me to socialize and understand people, and ultimately I think that’s how I got to be good at what I do. I’m searching for people and learning about their emotional core.”

For Lee, more important than finding a good-looking specimen or skilled thespian is determining whether the actor is authentic.

“I think within the first 10 seconds of meeting someone, you can get a sense of a person,” says Lee. “You know whether you want to continue to watch them.”

Twelve years ago, Lee started the ABC Casting Department’s Talent Showcase with the goal of providing more opportunities for minority actors of color who either don’t have representation or aren’t even aware of the opportunities available. Since its inception, 14,000 people have auditioned, and 432 actors have participated in 30 showcases, with winners earning mentorships.

Beneficiaries of this program include Liza Lapira (Crazy Stupid Love,Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23), Carrie Ann Inaba (Dancing with the Stars), Aaron Yoo (Disturbia, 21), Archie Kao (CSI), Randall Park (Larry Crowne, The Five-Year Engagement), and Janina Gavankar (True Blood, The L Word).

In the upcoming fall season on ABC, TV audiences can look out for Ming-Na Wen and Chloe Wang Bennet in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Liza Lapira inSuper Fun Night,Ginger Gonzaga inMixology, Summer Bishil in Lucky 7, and Albert Tsai inTrophy Wife.

“My goal is to change the face of television,” says Lee. “When I came to the U.S. at age 2, there wasn’t much diversity on television, and now, it’s such a different time.”

***

On how she ended up in the casting industry:
“Like most Korean American families, entertainment [as a career] was not an option. It was the stereotype, ‘Are you going to be a doctor or a lawyer?’ So, I had planned to go to law school, I was studying philosophy at NYU, and I was a hostess at Caroline’s Comedy Club, so it was the comedians who introduced me to the world of entertainment. I actually fell into this business. I got an internship in casting and worked my way up, while I went to school full time at NYU. First, I worked at Warner Brothers, and then I went to ABC, where I’ve been for 21 years.”

On starting ABC Casting Department’s Talent Showcase to find diverse talent:
“Twelve years ago, we were talking about diversity and thinking about how we can provide more opportunities for diverse actors, so I started this showcase program to give exposure and training to actors who either don’t have the representation or aren’t even aware of the opportunities that exist. After my team auditions the actors, we select the top 15 to 20, and we put them through this training program. Usually you have material, and you find people to play the characters, but this is the reverse: we find the right actors and then try to find the right material for them. Some of the actors who’ve gone through this program that we’re excited about are: Liza Lapira, who was onDon’t Trust The B—- in Apt 23, Jorge Garcia fromLost, Dania Ramirez fromDevious Maids, and Jesse Williams onGrey’s Anatomy.”

On their first digital talent competition this summer:
“This is new. We’re the first network to launch a digital talent competition. We had over 14,000 submissions, we’re having a public vote, and the winner will be announced on Aug. 30. The winner gets $10,000 and a talent option hold with ABC. Just based on the submissions, I’m excited to be able to find new faces. These are actors from around the country, they are coming from everywhere, from Florida to Alabama, and it’s really great to hear some of their stories.”

On the Latino and Asian Outreach Initiatives:
“This is international. We started this program last year. For the Latino Outreach, we targeted Mexico, Latin America and Spain, and I’m excited to say that one of actors we found in first year of the Latino Outreach Initiative, Adan Canto, was cast as series regular in Mixology. The Asian Outreach Initiative started in India, and we just expanded to the Philippines this year.”

Who influences you?
“I have an amazing circle of really strong, smart, successful female friends, and we feed off that positive energy and help each other out. That’s part of what I do in my profession, I’m helping people realize their dreams, and that’s what we do for each other. I often have these conversations with my girlfriends, where I wish I had women as role models or mentors, so now that we’re in our positions, we think, how can we help empower other women and be role models for them? All these female pioneers paved the way for us, so how can we pave the way for other women?”

Slight edits, since the term “minority” is inaccurate and offensive. Wonderful interview with an industry professional who is making big change. If you’re an actor (or writer, or director), do check out the diversity initiatives of major studios. ABC, FOX, CBS, and Disney all have talent showcases and other opportunities that could be that break you need. It never hurts to put yourself out there and take a chance!