Big Checks and Bandaids Won't Do It

The Frame
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

This. Is Hollywood the sequel? Welcome to our new podcast from Elliot's studios. Each week were asking some of the sharpest minds in the entertainment business how they might use the shutdown to confront and try to fix what's broken in Hollywood for its entire existence. The entertainment industry has failed to represent all voices now as Hollywood reconsiders its future, it has a chance to welcome those lavigne excluded and against the additional backdrop of the black lives matter movement. We wanted to explore. How and if this moment might be the one that finally results in real systemic change. And that's where we'll begin with director writer and producer a Vernay. Her work, include Selma when they see us and thirteenth, and I reached her as she was on her way from one meeting to the next, because even though traditional production has been halted, a is still really busy for me. I'm I'm Alpha type personalities so. Sitting around and thinking about it gets me in trouble. I do much better when I'm actually taking action in some ways. In April her media company, which is called a Ray, launched a two hundred fifty thousand dollar arts fund. It's ten thousand dollar grants for creators and organizations, telling stories of underrepresented communities, especially those impacted by the global, Krona virus pandemic, and then in early, June, she started the law enforcement accountability project also known as leap. It was a life saving measure truly for me because I was really Losing it with the you know the grief and rage. You know that in some ways really came to a head for me personally in watching George Floyd's murder on tape. Leap is an initiative that empowers artists. They could be filmmakers. Play rights might be poets to tell stories about police violence. I'm very used to watching violent racist images for my work. Watch thousands of hours of it for thirteen. You know for some over when they see us but that piece really brought me to my knees in a way that I didn't recognize within myself. And, interrogating why this one was different when I came up with was the The muscular Larry of the image. That image of the COP cavalierly murdering a man who was begging for his life with his hand in his pocket and sunglasses on his head. They never moved that. Evil as I, saw that complete and total disregard for human dignity. I'm with something that I felt like I hadn't seen framed like that way. as it relates to contemporary images, and this was just so perfectly framed that it it. It made me realize. Wow, we don't ever see these officers. And Wow further to that I don't even know their names and goodness. Wow, kind of disappear, and while I can tell you the names of thirty black people who've been murdered. By the hands of police on tape I can't tell you who murdered then. And, so, the law enforcement accountability project really came out of all of that thinking, and that pain and it same for places, saying these people who murder, but folks who were unarmed. In instances where we are fortunate enough to have a tape to bear witness, those people should not go unknown and unnamed. And that what the police fans and police departments and the courts won't do that. The people can do. And artists can do. Artists Holding officers accountable by making work that make sure that they can't disappear. What can narrative storytelling do? That history or journalism can't. It's the emotional connection. We have actors pretending to be people in these situations, and it allows you to enter in and feel a blood pumping in the heart beating and the tears that fall down the face, and and what that experience is like. which is different from what history books and journalism good? Journalism. Can do on its surface. And you know both of those are are great and perations and. Take US far but I think the meredith storytelling to have human beings, embodying the feelings and emotions and experiences and memories and grief and rage and anger and hope of other human beings. Is a unique practice and is why storytelling so important and why I think it's vital that we apply that study to issues of justice. The thing I've been thinking about a lot is how. In the past has normalized ways of thinking about institutions and I was thinking about the whole idea of rogue police officers, and how they've been glorified in movies, like weapon or dirty, Harry or training day I wonder if the business itself has told a story specifically about police and the heroic police officer who goes rogue. That has been around for too long. That has really kind of ingrained itself in the way we think about the police. Certainly, the images from Hollywood have have contributed food and you know. A major way to the way that people think about the lease, but really it go. It's a real world context that contributes to the way that people think about beliefs because. I grew up watching movies watching those rogue cops, and you know heroic cops, but I also grew up in constant and experienced what real cops were like in my neighborhood, and there is no some or no television experience. The can capture. Real lived reality, and so I think there's a bit of overestimation about the Well, I think the conversation is preferential. When we talk about the impact of film and please, it's centers. Point of view of folks who feel in their real life that they're safe with police, right? It doesn't speak to people whose real lived. Experience is one of fear of police, and they feel endangered by the police so growing up when I would say those lethal weapon and those images. It's cartoonish and like fantasy to me. And not rooted in any kind of reality so I would say when they have all this conversation about the effect that these images are police have on the culture. That speaking to a very privileged part of the culture. that. Feel safe around police. and you know certainly there's been a lack of of any genuine effort to understand to decipher to deal with images of the police in the way that they really are in the world. There's there's been no real

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