Our work spans many strategies. Consulting regularly on shows, from ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy to Netflix’s Seven Seconds. Collaborating on content rollout with media outlets such as HBO, A&E and AMC Theaters. Producing content with celebrities to rally participation on issues like criminal justice and voting. Leading accountability campaigns, such as canceling COPS on FOX, and pressuring Saturday Night Live to hire Black women both in front of the camera and behind it. Conducting original research to expose critical problems in the industry and build momentum for industry change.
We work to raise industry standards, resulting in more accurate and balanced representations; more authentic Black stories; more diversity in writer’s rooms and among decision makers; and accountability when media companies cross the line. We work across Hollywood with anyone who shares our goals and values, and we are especially dedicated to building power for Black writers, producers and creators.
Major social change has never happened without cultural influencers leveraging their voice. We work with top talent in Hollywood and the music industry to help them make effective statements in the media, or star in videos that either educate people on key issues or promote strategic campaigns for change. We’ve worked with Chris Rock and Keegan Michael-Key on voting access, John Legend and Common on transforming our criminal justice system, Ava DuVernay and Kendrick Sampson on anti-Black violence, Eric Reid on standing up for racial justice, and Matt McGorry on encouraging people to lean into difficult conversations about race.
We collaborate with writers, producers and executives to ensure characters and storylines feel realistic, authentic and multi-dimensional. We consult on projects at any point in the development process: briefing writers on real-world issues like criminal justice and gentrification, collaborating on storyline development and sensitive material pertaining to race, and advising on rough cut revision, marketing and rollout.
We’ve worked with networks as varied as ABC, Netflix, HBO and A&E on ongoing series like Grey’s Anatomy and Seven Seconds, and film projects like Surviving R. Kelly and Blindspotting.
We commission original, expert and independent research that surfaces problems and solutions with respect to race and gender. Research allows us to confront decision makers with real data, and build momentum for change among like-minded insiders. We focus on how diversity (or lack of diversity) behind the camera affects the content we see on-screen, as well as other aspects of content development, such as hiring and funding. We also analyze on-screen content itself, to assess its accuracy, fairness and impact on society, especially when it comes to representations of Black people and Black culture, and issues that affect Black communities. Our 2017 Writer’s Room report helped accelerate a culture shift in the industry with respect to writer’s room diversity. Our 2019 study of 27 crime procedurals is the first comprehensive analysis of the genre.
Too often, what we see on-screen reinforces dangerous stereotypes and harmful misperceptions. For over a decade, Color Of Change has held media corporations accountable for propagating racist content. We forced COPS off FOX, canceled All My Babies’ Mamas before it ever aired on Oxygen, pressured Saturday Night Live to hire Black women, and more. We also worked with dream hampton to promote her Lifetime doc Surviving R. Kelly, now approaching 5 million views. We continued the fight to successfully pressure RCA to drop R. Kelly after years of turning a blind eye to his abuse of girls in the industry, which led to a wave of other media outlets following doing the same.
We produce original content and run social media campaigns that elevate issues important to Black communities and storytellers, which we promote across our social channels, content partners and 1.4 million membrs. In 2018, we launched #TellBlackStories, an initiative to raise awareness about the importance of developing and promoting authentic Black stories, and to demand greater access for Black storytellers. TellBlackStories also showcases Black writers, actors, directors and changemakers: Ava DuVernay, dream hampton, Stanley Nelson and many up-and-coming artists. Through profiles and videos, they talk about what it will take to truly advance power and equity for all people in Hollywood. Season 1 of the Tell Black Stories video podcast series was shot live at Sundance 2019.
In the press
Yet, when it comes to the representation of Black people, Black culture and issues like criminal justice that affect Black communities, far too much of the content Hollywood produces promotes dangerous misunderstandings. This inaccurate and unfair content on-screen ultimately reinforces ideas that hold back progress on racial justice in the real world. It has been proven to affect how Black people are treated by employers, judges, police, politicians, doctors, teachers, neighbors and society at large.
Color Of Change is a racial justice organization powered by more than 1.4 million members, driving change on major issues that affect Black people’s lives. Color Of Change Hollywood is a multi-year initiative to change the rules of media: the written and unwritten rules that shape content development, production, distribution and impact.
Sundance Film Festival Diverse Representation Panel
Sundance Film Festival
From Presence to Power Salons