The purpose of the Hollywood Mixing Bowl Initiative (HMB) is to bring about diversity awareness and change in the racial makeup from top to bottom in the mainstream Hollywood decision-making structure. This applies to television networks as well film studios.
The goal of HMB is to improve race relations within the industry as well as on the national public level. Moreover, this initiative can be realized by having the Hollywood decision-making brass take aggressive and transparent steps to level the playing field in front and behind the cameras for all people of color and for women.
The objective of this initiative is fourfold:
1) To improve race relations by bringing about effective cultural change in the mindsets, attitudes, and perceptions of the consumer public at large;
2) To highlight and bring public awareness to the lack of diversity among Hollywood film and American television network executives;
3) To level the playing field through the racial diversification of decision makers, including studio and network chiefs, writers, producers, casting directors, and actors; and
4) Hitting the decision makers in their wallets with a nationwide, one-month movie boycott by all persons of color, women, and persons sensitive to diversity and race relations.
HMB desires Hollywood to move away from the limited depictions of Black life and other people of color in film and television and to professionally nurture more women, African Americans, and other people of color as actors, writers, producers, and executives.
HMB has identified five critical areas where change is needed to meet diversity and race relation objectives. These are as follows:
1. To enable accurate portrayal of storytelling from diverse perspectives within the minority population.
2. To address the under-representation of people of color in front of and behind the cameras.
3. To include more actors of color as positive role models on the screen.
4. To increase representation of women and people of color in executive production roles.
5. To encourage and cast more mature women in leading acting roles. (Please note: Mature women refers to actresses of 40+ years of age).
To summarize, accomplishing the goal of the HMB would allow the Hollywood decision-making structure to make a cultural shift in how it does business. Moreover, by addressing these five critical points, the HMB initiative hopes to bring about race and gender equality in the Hollywood executive production structure; to set a positive precedent; to serve as a role model in the promotion of authentic storytelling from the diverse, multiracial, and ethnic makeup in the United States; and to open up more doors of opportunity for actors of color and for mature women in lead prime time and/or feature film roles.
HMB is not an attack on Hollywood but rather serves as a catalyst for positive social change. Furthermore, the HMB initiative seeks to assist Hollywood in realizing its fullest potential to provide substantive entertainment for the 21st century by accurately reflecting the diverse population in the United States. Moreover, we feel that through the further opening of entertainment media channels to people of color in film and primetime lead roles, we can have both a subconscious and an overt impact on race relations in the United States, and subsequently the world. By mixing up the melting pot of talent, we can add more textures and layers to our already rich, diverse cultural landscape, and make entertainment which appeals to the sensibilities and heritages of all citizens.
Urge Hollywood to level the playing field for all people of color and for women in front and behind the cameras.
We believe that by addressing the racial and ethnic divide and adopting a more diverse approach from decision making to the actual storytelling could have a significant impact on race relations. This impact would not only be felt in the United States but also in other Westernized civilizations of the world where the foreign consumer public’s attitude is shaped and molded by the media and entertainment that they watch.
It boils down to how people see and feel about themselves as portrayed within the entertainment/media forum, and this can have a trickle-down effect to how people of color ultimately feel about themselves based on the positive images and positive role models that they see on television and/or film. Yes, we have been told since adolescence that we determine the level of impact of what someone says about us, but when bombarded with negative images and messages over and over, one’s armor becomes weakened.