Posts tagged with "SAG-AFTRA"

Golden Globes Illustration by Heather Skovlund

Golden Globes 2021

By Dana Feeney

The Golden Globes have kicked off the 2021 awards season despite the many production disruptions in television and film in 2020 due to the CoronaVirus pandemic. For those who may not be familiar with the Golden Globes, the globes are a film and television award show that happens once a year run by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). The awards were done remotely and hosted in tandem from opposite coasts by comedy powerhouses Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Instead of the usual stacked audience of the biggest names in Hollywood, the members of the in-person audiences were front-line workers and first responders while celebrities watched from the safety of their homes via zoom. Fey and Poehler did not pull any punches during their opening monologue, which you can watch here.
The HFPA, a group of 87 international journalists from around 55 countries, does not have any black members. Fey commented on this almost immediately in the opening monologue saying, “The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 international, no-black journalists.” Throughout the night different personalities commented on the lack of representation, including “Schitt’s Creek” co-creator Dan Levy who said “in the spirit of inclusion, I hope that this time next year this ceremony reflects the true breadth and diversity of the film and television being made today because there is so much more to be celebrated,” during his acceptance speech for Best TV Series. More critically, Sacha Baron Cohen, who won multiple awards including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” and said in his acceptance speech, “Thank you to the all-white Hollywood Foreign Press.”
One of the biggest snubs of the night was the lack of nominations for “I May Destroy You,” a British-American series starring, written, co-directed, and executive produced by Michaela Coel for BBC One and HBO. Many people are frustrated by the fact that “Emily in Paris,” which is a story about a white woman navigating Paris as an American, garnered nominations over “I May Destroy You.” Deborah Copaken, a writer for Netflix’s “Emily in Paris,” spoke to The Guardian and explain how much she believes “I May Destroy You” “deserves to win all the awards.” She speaks about how well the show “takes the complicated issue of a rape – I’m a sexual assault survivor myself – and infuses it with heart, humor, pathos.” You can read the rest of her take on “I May Destroy You” here.
Additionally, the film “Minari” won Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language, you can watch director Lee Isaac Chung‘s acceptance speech which features his daughter here. “Minari” was left out of the Best Motion Picture category supposedly because portions of the film were not in English, although the film is the story of a Korean-American family set in Arkansas. This created very similar dissent to last year’s exclusion of “Parasite” written and directed by Korean Filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, from the same category at the Golden Globes, which went on to win four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. You can find more information about “Minari” and where to watch it here.
On a more positive note, many deserving producers, directors, screenwriters, actors, actresses, and more were recognized for the high caliber of content produced this past year. One of the most heart-wrenching being Chadwick Boseman, who won his first Golden Globe for Best Actor in a motion picture, drama for his performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.His wife, Taylor Simone Ledward Boseman, accepted the award on his behalf and gave a beautiful acceptance speech which you can watch here. It’s highly anticipated that Boseman may go on to win a posthumous Academy Award for his performance.
History was made in many categories throughout the evening. Chloé Zhao is now the first woman and the first Asian woman to win Best Director. She won Best Director for the film “Nomadland“. Of the five individuals nominated for Best Director, three of them were women, Chloé Zhao, Emerald Fennell, and Regina King. This is the first time the HFPA has recognized more than one female director. You can see Zhao’s acceptance speech here. You can read more about this historic moment for women in film here.
Andra Day won Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for her role in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.” She is the second black actress to win the category since Whoopie Goldberg won for “The Color Purple” 35 years ago. You can see her ecstatic reaction alongside her family and her acceptance speech here and read more about her thoughts on her win here.
After his Best Screenplay, Motion Picture win for “The Trial of The Chicago 7,” Aaron Sorkin is now tied with Quentin Tarantino and Robert Bolt who respectively have three wins in the screenplay category. His past two wins were for “The Social Network” (2010) and “Steve Jobs” (2015), but he has received multiple other nominations for screenwriting in the past. You can watch his acceptance speech here.

The official video for the Golden Globes and critic’s choice-nominated song was “Fight For You” by H.E.R., as featured in the original motion picture film, “Judas and the Black Messiah.” 

Netflix, with 42 nominations and 10 wins, Amazon, with 10 nominations and three wins, and Apple TV, with four nominations and one win, took home huge victories for streaming services. Netflix’s limited series “The Crown” and “The Queen’s Gambit” were hugely popular and won a variety of accolades. For Amazon and Apple Tv, their ringers were “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and “Ted Lasso” respectively.
You can see the full list of winner’s here.

 

Illustration of a Booker by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

New World Model

By Dana Feeney × Vaughn Lowery

The modeling industry has two very different faces. One side are supermodels, like Gigi and Bella Hadid, glamorously modeling, making millions of dollars, and traveling the world. The other are the unknown models working job to job, facing exploitation and manipulation by their agencies and clients, and trying to make their name in the industry. The mistreatment of models is as old as the industry itself. Skinny, cis, and white models experience this brutal reality. Working as a model is only worse for people of color [POC], LGBTQA+, and immigrants because of the lack of transparency or regulation and rampant misconduct.

New Players

The current push for diversity and inclusion has caused a much higher demand for POC, and LGBTQA+ models with different body types. In recent months, a few new players in the game are building their reputations on accountability and proper treatment of the models and creatives they represent. Several small agencies and one superpower are disrupting the model representation world: New Pandemics, Zandwagon, Community New York, We Speak Models, and film and television power player Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
The way modeling deals traditionally work is that a model signs to an agency, such as Next Models, Ford Models, IMG Models, or Wilhelmina Models. The agency provides its models with certain services such as housing, transportation, portfolio shoots, and more. In most cases, anything an agency provides for a model they have to pay back to the agency, often at a high-interest rate. The interest rate means the longer they take to pay it back, the more they owe to the agency.

Although models sign contracts to agencies, they are not considered employees of those agencies and instead are independent contractors who the agency aids in booking jobs. The agencies do not keep models on their payroll. They do control the money that the models earn on a job and how their money models earn is distributed. Bad payment practices reach far beyond the agencies. The agencies are responsible for billing the client right after the model completes their job. Payment for jobs by agencies to their models is notoriously sketchy because clients are not required to pay upfront before shoots and can legally take up to 90 days to settle up. Most agencies take at least a 20% fee out of any money their models make and charge clients a “booking fee,” so for a $1000 job, they would charge $1200 but only pay the model $800. Worst of all, if a client does not pay the agency for work a model did, the agency does not owe the model the money they earned. The common practice in the industry is that the model only gets paid if the agency gets paid.

The film and television management world contrasts the modeling world in many ways. The modeling industry as a whole is riddled with misconduct, manipulation, and poor treatment of models by their agencies and brands. Many modeling agencies use contracts that include fees and costs they can pull out of the model paychecks and use debt, housing, and visas to keep their models dependent.

Agencies in other media such as film, only make money if their clients make money. In film, the percentage is around 10% because of unions. Although, none of these industries are flawless especially considering scandals in the film and tv world with predators like Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer.
Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has a long history of representing talents across film, tv, music, and more. In August of 2020, CAA announced their partnership with KCD Worldwide, a fashion services agency, which signaled CAA’s entrance into fashion model management for the first time in the agency’s history. CAA has a strong legacy of representing high-profile individuals and building their careers. They have also stated that they only take a 10% fee out of their models’ earnings, half of the general standard of 20%. Despite their claims for better treatment of models, CAA is not blemish-free when it comes to allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct. Multiple former CAA agents have faced lawsuits.

Additionally, CAA has previously represented multiple people accused of misconduct, including Shia LaBeouf, Chris D’Elia, and Marilyn Mason; all of whom are no longer represented by CAA.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the smaller boutique agencies mentioned earlier, New Pandemics, Zandwagon, and Community New York. New Pandemics is “a casting and management agency dedicated to increasing LBGTQ+ visibility.”

Zandwagon is “a talent management company that could guide everyday life individuals who are breaking beauty standards daily” according to their website. Community New York is run by Butterfly Cayley, Moe Lamstein, and Richie Keoall, three first-generation immigrants from Laos, and “is founded on inclusivity and progressive values by changing not only the style but the very structure of management.” Cayley, Lamstein, and Keoall have impressive experience at agencies including DNA and Elite Model Management. Community New York now represents stars such as Hunter Schafer, who is well known for her work on the hit HBO show “Euphoria” and is now a brand ambassador for Shiseido.

With small diversity forward agencies up and coming, the existing modeling industry is under attack from all sides. All three of these agencies emphasize how much they value representation and inclusivity in this industry that has avoided breaking societal beauty standards for so long. They also claim they will be different from other agencies and provide better treatment for their clients. These agencies are sending the message that you’re either with them or against them, and they’re willing to think outside of the box to get proper treatment and equity for models from all walks of life.

Same Old Problems

Many of the biggest fashion houses in the world are still reckoning with the #MeToo movement. The fashion industry is known as a highly predatory business. Many of even the largest names in modeling have had to survive people abusing their power on sets and behind the scenes to become who they are. Household names, such as Kate Upton, Coco Rocha, and Cameron Russel, have all spoken out about their experiences with the abuse they’ve experienced while working as models.

Kate Upton spoke out against Paul Marciano in 2018, which led to a total of $500,000 in settlement agreements involving five individuals. He has remained an active participant at GUESS as a board member and chief creative officer, despite resigning from his position as an executive. At the beginning of February, the news broke that Marciano is once again being sued over sexual assault allegations by a woman who has chosen to remain anonymous. The allegations against Marciano are not an isolated incident. Similarly, allegations were brought against Alexander Wang in December of 2020 but began as early as 2017, yet some still chose his side despite the overwhelming corroboration of multiple individuals. If the word of a woman as successful as Kate Upton is not enough to oust a predator from power, it’s unclear what realistically can protect vulnerable individuals with less acclaim from the same experiences or worse.

The silver lining of these allegations coming to light is the industry supporting the individuals coming forward more than ever before. In the past, many models lost their careers before they had even begun due to the actions of predators and the mechanisms powerful people use to silence their victims. Accounts such as @shitmodelmgmt and @dietprada have been using their online platforms to expose predators and condemn their actions openly across Instagram and Twitter. Additionally, the Model Alliance, an organization dedicated to giving models a voice in their work, has also spoken out against Wang on their Instagram saying, “We stand with David Casavant, Owen Mooney, Gia Garison, and all the accusers of @alexanderwangny in their pursuit towards justice.”

The upheaval that began in 2006 with survivor and activist Tarana Burke’s creation of the #MeToo movement has continued into 2021. Slowly but surely survivors are taking their power back and pushing to create real change in media industries that have exploited them for far too long.

Illustration of models by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Sundance 2018

Actor Issa Rae (‘Insecure’) among the celebrities to attend The Blackhouse’s Killer Creativity: A New Breed Panel, sponsored by BET Networks, at Sundance 2018, seen here with BET Fellows 

(photo credit: Eric Umphery Photography) 

 John LegendIssa RaeDebra Lee and Bevy Smith were among the guests in attendance for the first two days of programming at The Blackhouse during the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. 

 

Filmmakers and industry insiders packed into the Blackhouse’s Sundance headquarters to listen to their peers discuss topics ranging from diversity and inclusion in filmmaking to discussions around the premiere of one the biggest films at Sundance, Monster, all before jamming to the sounds of Grammy-nominated DJ/producer Vikter Duplaix at the official Blackhouse Party.  

 

Attendees mixed and mingled while enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres, but the Blackhouse’s co-founder, Brickson Diamond, made it clear that while having a good time is important, Blackhouse means serious business, “It’s not about a party. It’s about the mission of expanding access and opportunity. It’s about getting our stories told, distributed and our artists heard again and again.” 

 

The Blackhouse Foundation, an organization whose mission is to create a community for black content creators, is in its 11th year at Sundance and will be at the 2018 festival from January 19-22. Programming highlights this year include a conversation with Grammy-and-Oscar-winner John Legend and Tonya Lewis Lee about film Monster premiering at Sundance and a discussion about ways in which black women are leading the revolution featuring activist and commentator Angela Rye and sponsored by Color of Change and Planned Parenthood. 

 

The Blackhouse Foundation welcomes and thanks the following sponsors for their continued belief and support: Comcast NBC/Universal returns as a full-year sponsor. BET sponsors the Blackhouse Fellows Program bringing 10 Howard University MFA students to the festival and serve as a Creative sponsor. Official sponsors include AT&T Hello LabFacebook, and 21st Century Fox Global Inclusion. Supporting sponsors include NETFLIX and HBO. Creative sponsors include CAA, Planned Parenthood/Color of Change, SAG-AFTRA, The Will and Jada Smith Family FoundationStarz, UMC – The Urban Movie Channel, Eos and more. 

Grammy and Oscar-winner John Legend, Producer Tonya Lee Lewis, and SAG-AFTRA Diversity Advisory Committee Chair Jason George, along with the director, writers, and cast during “The Making of ‘Monster,’ presented by SAG-AFTRA” (photo credit: Eric Umphery Photography) 

 

 

ABOUT THE BLACKHOUSE FOUNDATION

The Blackhouse Foundation works to expand opportunities for Black content creators by providing pathways to opportunities within film, television, digital and emerging platforms. Blackhouse provides opportunities for minority creative to learn about the financial, production, marketing and distribution resources that will raise the profile of their content, while also providing participants with a nucleus for continuing support, community and education. 

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