People of color face many challenges in the entertainment industry, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Across all career paths, marginalized groups remain underrepresented, and efforts by the industry to create parity continue to be inadequate. A recent report found “40 specific pain points” for Black professionals trying to break through, including barriers to developing, financing, marketing and distributing content.

The study also found that few “above the line” Black creatives in behind-the-scenes roles are the primary source for Black talent offscreen, and up-and-coming Black actors have fewer opportunities in leading roles and narrower margins for error compared to their white counterparts.

A panel of experts involved in the research will discuss actions that could increase representation across the industry and provide space for a new and diverse generation of creatives.

Moderated by SDA Assistant Professor Elizabeth Harper, the panel will include Franklin Leonard (film and television producer, cultural commentator, entrepreneur and founder/CEO of the Black List); Sheldon Lyn (partner in McKinsey & Company’s Southern California Office and co-author of the report, Black Representation in Film & TV); Nony Onyeador (VP of Operations at Endeavor Content and co-author of the report, Black Representation in Film & TV).

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