On Wednesday, March 14, we invited industry pros from Universal Pictures, HBO, Sparkd Studios, and OMD to discuss diversity, race, gender, inclusivity, and how all of that plays into the media landscape. Many thanks to our panelists for sharing their knowledge, and to Grindr for hosting us.
Zach Stafford, Editor-in-Chief, INTO
Ben Cory Jones, Writer/Producer, HBO's 'Insecure' and Netflix's 'Step Sisters'
Candela S. Rebot, Founder/Creative, Sparkd Studios
Ivette Martinez, Group Director, OMD
Jonathan Gist, Director, Multicultural Publicity and Promotions, Universal Pictures
"If something comes out of your mouth and you know what your talking about, that’s when people pay attention to you. That’s when people really trust you. Know your sh*t." - Ivette Martinez
On breaking into the industry…
"It’s still very difficult to convince people your story matters. We are constantly breaking in. You have to keep pushing hard, you always have to seek opportunities that are going to teach you something and grow, and meet people who have a strong network." - Ben Cory Jones
"Advertising is cutthroat - especially for females trying to make any sort of difference. I had to tap into my resources." - Candela S. Rebot
"Pitch it, pitch it, pitch it until it works out. I just pretended that I knew was I doing until it actually worked." - Candela S. Rebot
On being marketed to as a minority….
Who do people want to see, who do people care about? "They want to see themselves. At the end of the day I want to see myself." - Johnathan Gist
"Whatever area you consider yourself to be an “other”, that is something that you never forget. As a minority we have to do a lot of teaching to other people about who we are." - Ben Cory Jones
Inclusion is less about who’s in the room but about how you feel in that room.
“Staying true to the culture, means staying true to yourself.” - Ben Cory Jones
On multiculturalism in media:
"Total market is not only catering to a general market audience, it’s about finding those nuances, talking to a diverse segment and making it part of the total market conversation." - Ivette Martinez
"I love that we can create this conversation around a horror movie (Get Out) but it’s still so culturally relevant, its still so powerful and everyone can walk away with something different, something relatable." - Johnathan Gist
On work life balance…
"If I am still pulling from the same well of stories that means I haven’t lived enough. We have to give ourselves time to do that." - Ben Cory Jones
"Everything isn’t urgent. It’s about realizing your worth and what you bring to the table. The world is not going to end tomorrow. It’s not ER, it’s PR." - Johnathan Gist
"When the product you create is incumbent on someone’s opinion of it, you’re going to fail. In order to work in the business we work in, you constantly have to be reinventing yourself." - Ben Cory Jones
"It’s very easy to deflect the fault of something to feel better but it’s important to remember, we are only as good as our mistakes. Think about what you could have done better, if there is nothing you could have done better, do it again. At some point it’s going to click." - Candela S. Rebot
"Admitting when you failed is super important, that makes you human. We are all human. Admitting, apologizing, and figuring out how your going to fix it and make it better so that someone else doesn’t have to." - Ivette Martinez