“‘The power used to lie with a handful of studios and networks, who controlled both the means of production and the means of distribution. With that power came rules. Here are a few I was “taught” as a young executive:
-Girls can identify with male protagonists but boys don’t identify with female protagonists.
-Black movies don’t travel.
-Men don’t like women as action heroes.
-Young protagonists don’t sell.
-Gay and lesbian actors can’t play as romantic leads.
“The underlying assumption was that white men were the O positive blood type of representation. The idea that you can never go wrong with a white guy was promoted primarily by white guys.
“I tried to challenge some of those rules as a studio executive. We made movies I loved like Freaky Friday, Princess Diaries and Under the Tuscan Sun. I got to give Audrey Wells, Justin Linn and Angela Robinson their first studio directing jobs. I cast Anne Hathaway and Amy Adams in their first leading roles, and Julie Andrews and Jamie Lee Curtis in not their first leading roles. We hired more women and people of color than we had in the past, but I did not implement systemic changes that could outlast me.”
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