Tag Archives: diversity

Emil Guillermo’s Amok: The story Ishmael Reed shared at Dori Maynard’s service about how she told him she had been racially profiled.

Here’s the way journalists deal with grief. They cover the story head on.  That way they stay objective and avoid the tears and the pain. They save that for another day. Maybe on the day they see a sad movie, or when a cloud comes in the sky and exposes their Vitamin D deficiency. Or something.

So when someone asked me to cover my friend Dori Maynard, the diversity in journalism advocate, I had to say yes.

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It was also a way to include the story shared by noted author and MacArthur Genius Ishmael Reed. At the service, Reed was one of the select few to give his remembrance.  He was the only one to bring in a real sense of the pain people of color experience in general. He spoke of how we are treated in society, and of racial profiling. And he told a story about the time Dori Maynard was humiliated and racially profiled herself.

It was a story she shared with him.

Ironically, most people covering the service probably would have left out Ishmael Reed from their story.  But I couldn’t.

It was a strange day. I saw people who have been fighting the civil rights battle in journalism for more than 30 years.

Belva Davis was there.  I worked with her when I was in high school. She commented on my boyish looks being an advantage now.

There was Pam Moore from KRON.  I worked with Pam 30 years ago in Dallas.

Both Belva and Pam know, we are still fighting the fight.

And considering all the backsliding in recent years,  it may even be a little worse today in the media world.

Emil Guillermo: Dori Maynard led an inspired fight for diversity in the media. The fight shall continue.

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Still can’t believe my friend Dori Maynard is no longer with us.

She dedicated her life to make sure there was a little more color in the media.  There have been incremental gains. But there’s still much to be done.

My tribute to Dori  Maynard is here.

The services for Dori in Oakland will be tweeted and streamed live on the web.

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Oscars 2014: A turning point for diversity in the industry?

Like Hostess Ellen said, either “12 Years a slave” wins or we’re all racists. 

Good thing it won. But I don’t know if we’ve really turned a corner on diversity.  Under-representation and stereotypes still exist in Hollywood.  Asians are few and far between, and Native Americans?  In these times, Johnny Depp can still play Tonto.

But my goodness, the list of winners in the top categories this year is still  impressive:

Asian American of Filipino descent: Robert Lopez, composer, Best Original Song, “Let it Go,” from “Frozen.”

Mexican American: Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity.”

African American: John Ridley, Best Screenplay adaption, “12 Years a Slave.”

Mexican Kenyan: Lupita Nyong’o, Best Supporting Actress, “12 Years a Slave.”

Brit director Steve McQueen’s brutally honest telling of the Solomon Northup story is so disturbing, it’s hard to take.

But it needed to be told finally. Doesn’t put closure on the race issue by a long-shot. Don’t talk about post-racial America after a “Best Picture” Oscar.

But I think the industry is beginning to change as far as recognizing diverse audiences.

You can’t deny the winner’s list tonight.

I pretty much predicted how it would go.

“Gravity” was such a technical marvel, but didn’t quite get out of the planetarium for me.

I loved Amy Adams but knew she wouldn’t win. “American Hustle” was good but ABSCAM isn’t Watergate.  And for New Jersey folks, it’s not even Bridgegate.

So Cate Blanchett wins as she has most of the pre-shows.

Same with Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey in the  male actor categories.

Both of them gave great speeches.

I thought Leto’s mention of Ukraine and Venezuela, and AIDS victims brought things a little closer to reality. And McConaughey’s mention of God, was “all right, all right.”

But given the diversity wins of the night, Oscar folks still like things more  tactful than I would have wanted.

Never mind, Lupita Nyong’o’s acceptance speech struck the right chord. She recognized that her success was based on the pain of the past.(A show of humility there). And then after thanking colleagues, she chose to inspire:

“When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid. Thank you.”

This was not a night or the time to beat anyone over the head apparently. Not with Ellen playing silly, ordering pizzas and doing selfies.  It was a fun, guilt free Oscars.

And the winners were among the most I can ever remember.

Leave it to Lupita Nyong’o  to help validate the night.

 

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CBS’ Julie Chen’s the “Talk” about her eyes at the EYE; But candor on race has come pretty late for the TV star

Here’s my initial reaction to the Julie Chen reveal of how she dealt with racism in TV News that I posted on my “Emil Guillermo Media” Facebook site– https://www.facebook.com/emilguillermo.media  :

 

I think the bottom line is it’s still a self-serving reveal for Chen, especially since she appears to have only done it to fill out a show theme on “secrets” for her program, “The Talk.”
Wouldn’t it have been better–and more credible–if she had come out boldly after the “Big Brother” debacle this season? Yes, BB is also Chen’s show, but the presence of a specific contestant who spouted anti-Asian comments throughout the show, would have given Chen a real opportunity to come out more naturally about how she dealt with anti-Asian racism in the past.

So instead of seeing  Julie Chen as Rosa Parks, I’m wondering, what’s up Julie Chen?
Here’s someone who knows how hard it is as a minority to get ahead in TV news. She recalls the blatant racism she experienced in Ohio. And frankly, she must know that some version of that conversation can be heard in newsrooms even today.

And yet, prior to this, Julie Chen has not been known in broadcast circles as a pioneering diversity advocate.

This is after years of success as Chen represents the best example of hair and makeup, and now plastic surgery. She has quite a career as one who has married a network president and has an ubiquitous presence in daytime, primetime, and bedtime.

But maybe this is the start of a brand new Julie. Perhaps someone has told her about that old phrase of the jazz great Ramsey Lewis, “When you take the elevator up, don’t forget to send it back down.”