The Other 50% - a herstory of hollywood

The Other 50%

This is the podcast where we talk to successful women in entertainment and hear their stories. read less

EP 233: Blake Mitchell
Jun 27 2023
EP 233: Blake Mitchell
Today on this podcast we have the good fortune to speak with Blake Mitchell. Blake Mitchell (they/them) began their career in film production in Los Angeles, working for the VP of Production at Participant Media. After leaving LA, they worked at Google over 8 years where they managed teams in diversity & inclusion, learning & development and recruiting. A Georgia native, Blake moved back to the South in fall 2022 to work as an Operations Manager on Stacey Abrams' campaign for Governor. They recently launched their own consulting business focused on workplace diversity & inclusion and organization culture. Blake holds bachelors degrees in International Business, Finance and Entertainment & Media Studies from the University of Georgia. Also, Blake has been performing in drag as Mary Lou Pearl (she/her) and sees drag as a powerful tool to entertain, educate, raise money and spread positivity. MLP got her start in the drag bars and clubs of San Francisco in 2017 where she became known as a kind queen who loves giving back and spreading positivity. She's spent the last 2 summers working and teaching drag at Brave Trails LGBTQ+ summer camp where she's returned this summer as Head Counselor.  Now I’m going to tell you right now, drag, along with gay, queer, and trans is under attack in this country, and hardly any of the talking heads screaming about indoctrination of children have any idea what they’re talking about. So we are going to take some time today and really unpack it. What is drag, actually? Here, have a listen. www.theotherfiftypercent.com/blog How to reach Blake: website: www.blakemitchellconsulting.com instagram: @missmaryloupearl  email: blake@blakemitchellconsulting.com
EP 232: Kiah Amara
Jun 20 2023
EP 232: Kiah Amara
Today on this podcast we are diving into disability and accessibility and how to invite and manage people and their needs on set. This feels like one of the less often discussed pillars in the work of diversity , equity, inclusion and accessibility, and I’m really happy we have Kiah Amara on the show today to help us start thinking about it and planning for it. Kiah is a Disabled, Queer, and nonbinary producer, activist, and production accessibility coordinator. Originally from the rural Midwest, they now work globally expanding ideas of Accessibility, Disability, and all things deviant from normal through their company IndieVISIBLE Entertainment. Kiah is the PAC (production accessibility coordinator) on Best Foot Forward on AppleTV+ which was featured in The New York Times and awarded a 2022 Ruderman Seal of Authenticity. Other work includes the Netflix x RespectAbility Children's Content Lab, The Greatest ad, Rosie's Rules , CBS and WarnerBros. Discovery Talent Initiatives, and Accessibility Lead for the Far Out product launch at the Steve Jobs Theatre. www.JulieHarrisOliver.com https://www.indievisibleentertainment.com/services Inevitable Foundation: https://www.inevitable.foundation/ RespectAbility: https://www.respectability.org/ FWD-doc: https://www.fwd-doc.org/ Ride the Omnibus: https://www.omnibusride.com/ Access Horror: https://www.accesshorror.com/ *Access Horror Conference Virtual July 8-9 and in-person Film Screening July 9 (registration goes live 5/29)
EP 231: Dr. Apollo Emeka
Jun 6 2023
EP 231: Dr. Apollo Emeka
You can find me and my consulting work at Julieharrisoliver.com and you can find the podcast website at Theotherfiftypercent.com. OR, you can find links to everything I’m doing at linktr.ee/julieharrisoliver. The newest thing I have for you is that I’ve added a link for the books that people keep bringing up on the show. That way, you don’t have to remember as you’re listening and your purchase can help support the show, and we’re supporting independent bookstores. It’s a win win win. Ok, now one more thing before we meet today’s guest. I met the smartest and funniest co-host of my new favorite podcast this week and I want to tell you all about it. If you are a woman of a certain age, or headed towards it, or love someone who is, this is for you. And if you liked the Kiss My Age show, you will love Circling the drain.  The concept of a woman "circling the drain" conjures up negative imagery for some. But for the hosts of Circling the Drain Podcast, they've heard this phrase used so many times in reference to perimenopause, menopause and the plight of the aging woman, that they've chosen to reclaim and repurpose the phrase in the spirit of humor. Co-hosts and longtime friends Ellie and Julia take a deep dive into the sometimes embarrassing, often hilarious, and always bewildering issues of hormonal changes that take place in midlife. Through honest accounts, thoughtful interviews, and group panel discussions, their mission is to make you chuckle, make you nod your head in recognition, and hopefully make some scientific progress! Tune into Circling the Drain Podcast, every other Wednesday. Wherever you get your podcasts. Today on this podcast I sat with Dr. Apollo Emeka. Apollo is the Founder and CEO of Apollo Strategy Group Inc., an innovative leadership and strategy consultancy for business leaders, companies, and the Next Wave of ventures launched by diverse and impactful founders. Since its inception, Apollo Strategy Group has created over $500m in value for 100+ high-performance leaders and businesses in industries such as technology, real estate, professional services, and entertainment by developing bespoke strategies and providing hands-on implementation. Prior to founding Apollo Strategy Group, Apollo launched and sold a business he scaled from one to seven locations within four years while serving as an FBI Intelligence Analyst. In 2022, he retired from a decorated 20-year military career as a U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret and a U.S. Military Intelligence Analyst. Apollo has a Doctorate of Policy, Planning and Development from the University of Southern California and lives with his wife and two children in Pasadena, CA. Apollo Strategy Group Inc. is Small Business Certified, Disabled Veteran Business Certified, and Minority Business Enterprise Certified. We talked about his journey going from being unschooled to his PhD at USC, how he thinks about leadership and achievement and how he works with clients to embed equity all along the way.
EP 229: Karen Horne
May 16 2023
EP 229: Karen Horne
Today we are doing a deep dive into studio pipeline programs with Karen Horne. Karen Horne is a senior executive with over 20 years of experience within the entertainment industry. She has been recognized as a Diversity and Inclusion pioneer and pipeline builder. Karen is Senior Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, North America at Warner Bros. Discovery. In this role she oversees the DEI efforts for creative talent development pipeline programs, workforce, content and production while working closely with the Global Chief Diversity Equity & Inclusion Officer to create a global strategy for the company. Prior to joining WarnerMedia, Karen spent over a decade at NBCUniversal, where she was Senior Vice President, Programming Talent Development and Inclusion. In this role, Karen was responsible for overseeing in-front-of and behind-the-camera primetime diversity efforts. The programs and initiatives she created and/or developed became the industry’s gold standard and a blueprint for many other companies Horne designed, implemented and oversaw Nickelodeon’s Writer Fellowship Program. She was the Director of Writer Development & Special Projects for Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Network Television. Previously, she served as Director, West Coast, for the Black Filmmaker Foundation. Horne was also a Co-producer for the HBO Emmy Award-winning animated series “Spawn.” Her early career includes stints at ABC as the Executive Assistant to the President, ABC Entertainment, as well as positions at ABC Television Network Group and ABC Sports. Ms. Horne has spoken both nationally and internationally on diversity and inclusion best practices and has been honored with several awards and recognitions for her diversity and inclusion work and her service to underrepresented communities. She serves on the boards of RespectAbility; Montclair State University’s School of Communication and Media; USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, The Alliance of Women Directors, the Bay Area’s Urban League and is a member of several entertainment industry organizations. We talked about the different kinds of pipeline programs, how they work, and why we still need them.
EP 228: Bree Frank
May 9 2023
EP 228: Bree Frank
We are continuing our conversation about inclusion, equity and diversity with Bree Frank, founder of Hue You Know. As an accomplished Television Executive, and advocate for people of color in media, Bree is passionate about creating opportunities for professionals of all backgrounds. With over 20+ years of professional production experience, she has produced over 300 hours of unscripted television, including MTV's Room Raiders, TLC's A Makeover Story, and the award-winning television format Wife Swap. She has also contributed to a number of series during a 10-year run in Production Management for ZodiakMedia's New York office.  In 2018, Bree took a leap of faith and moved her family to Los Angeles, CA to begin a new chapter of life. She quickly landed at Matador Content and served as the Executive in Charge of Production, where she managed a robust development slate as well as projects for Disney+, Apple TV+, Crackle, and Showtime. Most recently, Bree was at Hello Sunshine (Reese Witherspoon's media company), as their Senior Vice President of Physical Production for Unscripted where she was tapped four years ago to build out physical production services. Bree has served as an executive on Hulu's Fairplay, Roku's Meet Me in Paris, and Apple's My Kind of Country as well as a healthy slate of brand funded projects . Bree's passion is to tell exceptional stories and move the television zeitgeist forward while championing diversity, equity, inclusion and access. Bree dropped so much truth in this episode there were a couple of times where I forgot that I had to keep up my end of the conversation - I just wanted to keep listening.
EP 227: MyKhanh Shelton
May 2 2023
EP 227: MyKhanh Shelton
Today I sat down with MyKhanh Shelton, a brilliant DEI practitioner and Attorney. With more than 20 years of experience as a legal and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) advisor in the media and entertainment industry, MyKhanh Shelton has deep expertise in identifying, evaluating and mitigating legal risks and a proven track record of designing people strategies and systems to attract and retain diverse workforces, and foster inclusive cultures.  From 2020 to 2022, MyKhanh served as Senior Vice President, Enterprise Inclusion for WarnerMedia where she was responsible for leading workforce DEI initiatives for WarnerMedia’s global workforce of 30,000 employees, including production safety initiatives across Warner Bros., HBO and HBO max productions.  Prior to WarnerMedia, MyKhanh served as Senior Vice President, Global Inclusion at 21st Century Fox, where she led initiatives to increase diversity and inclusion across the company’s 20,000 person workforce in film, television, sports, news and digital businesses. She also advised internal and external partners on matters related to diversity of stories, portrayals, and representation in the entertainment industry. Prior to forming the DEI Center of Excellence, she served the company as Senior Vice President, Fox Group Legal.  In that role, she led litigation teams across the US, represented Fox in industry-wide litigation and initiatives, and advised senior executives on a wide variety of employment-related matters.    MyKhanh holds a Bachelor of Arts from UCLA and a Juris Doctor from UC Berkeley. She serves on the boards of Facing History and Ourselves and Promax, and we will learn more about that as well. We talked about meeting people where they are, using data to inform the work, her particular philosophy of speaking truth to power with love and data.
EP 226: Dr. Meghan Burke
Apr 11 2023
EP 226: Dr. Meghan Burke
We are continuing our series of talking with experts who work in various aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion across industries and in entertainment specifically. Today I sat down with Dr. Meghan Burke. We talked about how white people can approach this work without getting hung up on feelings of shame and guilt and centering ourselves. None of that is particularly helpful. We also examined the notion of being "Colorblind" when it comes to race. What's wrong with that?  Dr. Meghan Burke is a sociologist and author of three books about contemporary racism and whiteness, most recently the book Colorblind Racism. She was an award-winning teacher, scholar, diversity advocate, and advisor during her 15 years working as a professor at a small liberal arts college, where for 10 years she co-developed and directed an innovative program designed to equip white students with an understanding of equity, inclusion, and intersectionality so that they could effectively work as partners in DEI efforts.  She also traveled around the country offering keynote talks and workshops for communities looking to deepen their commitments to racial and social justice through interrogations of whiteness. Meghan left higher education in 2021 for a career in industry, utilizing her social science research skills and her subject matter expertise to drive positive change for companies that serve the common good. We talk about how it is to show up as a white person doing the work of dismantling racist systems. A theme you’ll hear repeatedly is it’s not if and whether, but when and how. That will make sense soon.
EP 224: Dr. Kira Banks
Mar 28 2023
EP 224: Dr. Kira Banks
Today we are kicking off our series of talking with experts who work in various aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion across industries and in the entertainment industry specifically. First up is Dr. Kira Banks. DEI work is "so hard" in entertainment and it's also "not hard at all." What's the deal? And why is it so hard for an industry who sees themselves as such good people to face the systemic racism they are swimming in? Dr. Banks' decades of experience allow her to make complex and controversial topics accessible in schools, communities, institutions of higher education and corporations. She co-founded the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity at St. Louis University, where she has a professor in the Department of Psychology. In addition, she has published over 20 articles in peer reviewed publications. And she has contributed to the Harvard Business Review, the Atlantic and the Guardian. She received her BA from Mount Holyoke College where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and her MA and PhD are from the University of Michigan. Today, Dr. Banks has a podcast called "Raising Equity" to support adults in talking to kids about systems of oppression. She's also a co-principal of the Mouse and the Elephant, which develops customized curriculum to meet organizations' long-term needs. On a personal note, I have learned a tremendous amount from Dr. Banks and I am thrilled she agreed to do this podcast, and I'm so excited for you to get to meet her and hear what she has to say.