– A Look Behind the Curtain
By Valerie Milano
Los Angeles, CA (Hollywood Today) 1/31/2013 – “The first thing is, do I think it’s a great story, do I love it; the next thing is, can I sell it?” – Film and Television Producer, Debra Martin Chase, on her project selection process. This Tuesday, Chase was one of several speakers at the 9th Annual NAACP Hollywood Bureau Symposium at the Museum of Tolerance, and Hollywood Today was there to cover it. The event, sponsored by Ford Motor Company, was titled Images of Women in Media: A Look Behind the Curtain, and addressed topics specific to female film and TV professionals, particularly those in the African American community. Attendees included Niecy Nash (American Dad), Towanda Braxton and a host of others. Held in conjunction with the 44th Annual Image Awards, the Hollywood Bureau Symposium serves as a venue to discuss the impact of business and technology on diversity in Hollywood.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded in 1909 as a civil rights organization for African Americans; and by 1967, the foundation had grown tremendously. That year saw the First Annual Image Awards, which was produced as an effort to recognize and honor black talent in film, television, music and literature. The Image Awards became much like the Oscars and Grammys for the African American community and has long been broadcasted live around the globe. “I have a variety of different responsibilities as to the NAACP’s diversity initiatives in Hollywood.” - Vicangelo Bulluck, Executive Director of the NAACP Hollywood Bureau. The Hollywood Bureau Symposium was developed in 2004, and became a major event that took advantage of having African American celebrities and industry professionals gathered together for the Image Awards. Typically taking place just days before the televised event, the Hollywood Bureau Symposium allows for an open format discourse between those working successfully in entertainment.
This year’s Symposium, Images of Women in Media: A Look Behind the Curtain was an excellent opportunity to learn not just about the challenges African American women face as industry professionals, but rather the many strides they have taken and their well deserved success on-screen and behind the scenes. You can catch Symposium participants and many more at the 44th Annual Image Awards, which airs live this Friday, February 1st on the NBC network.