You are given the keys to your industry. What’s the first thing you do to make it a more inclusive environment for everyone?
I would diversify the industry from the top down. Only once the studio heads, network executives, programmers, financiers, casting and show runners are diverse will we begin to see diverse content organically created from experience, rather than imagination. One thing the current gatekeepers are failing to realize is that simply adding more POC and LGBTQAI+ characters as subplots and quirky side kicks to bolster the storylines of white protagonists isn’t enough. When those who are creating and writing and directing the stories are not diverse, we end up time and time again with watered down, two dimensional and often stereotypical representation that misses out on so much of the nuance and magic of diverse experiences.
What is your message to future generations of queer people, coming of age right now? How do you want to instill hope in them?
I am so deeply inspired and humbled by the collective openness, curiosity and the determination of your generation. Your individual story, your fire, your dreams are what make you an absolutely crucial part of the fabric of this next chapter. Don’t forget that allowing yourself to be vulnerable is a sign of great strength, and that nurturing your mental and emotional health only makes you better equipped to support others. Refuse to settle. Refuse to sit down. Your time is now.