Why are we still having this same tired conversation repeatedly on a loop?
One would have thought with the virtual conference capability introduced for interviews that studios would be ecstatic. After all, they were saving millions in hotel and flight bookings globally, premiere events, in-person press conferences, booking venues for in-person screenings, while simultaneously obtaining nearly three times the coverage in one fell swoop.
However, once the world opened and folks were allowed outside the confines of their homes, those same doors that cracked open became slammed and nailed shut. Some firms and/or studios would lie to your face about the dates of junkets and/or who was not available and why. Do these people really think journalists are not speaking with one another and sharing details while noticing the facts given are not adding up or making logical sense?
How do you have films with women at the helm, starring and/or producing, yet not invite women of color from all lanes to participate? If we are present, it’s a handful of us. And don’t let it be a red carpet! If you are not with a mainstream media outlet nor have solid connections or relationships to the powers that be, you will find yourself relegated to the “underground railroad” portion near the end, grappling with four or five other outlets for just one quote. When content begins to drop, you come to the realization that the invitations were never meant to include you … period.
For many of my colleagues, emails to studios now go unanswered. Invitations are scarce and the same Black journalists and journalists of color who appeared to be indispensable are now ghosted on everything from screenings to moderating to junket invites (virtual or in-person).
This is a rally call to inspire some real action instead of cyclical lip service that is consistent and lasting. Let’s keep it real, I’ll be the first one to say that you are not going to get confirmed for every interview, junket, screening, etc. … that’s just the way it is.