The Cal State LA MFA in Television, Film and Theatre (TVFT) program recently hosted ‘Waking Up: How the Entertainment Industry is Facing the Challenges of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion’, a discussion with industry insiders and leaders, David White, National Executive Director of SAG/AFTRA, Mai Tran-Lanza, Coordinator in the Diversity Department for the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW), Eduardo Cisneros, LGBTQ writer and producer, Marcos Luevanos, LGBTQ writer and producer, and Kevin Iwashina, WME Agent. The panel was moderated by Barry Gordon, former President of the Screen Actors Guild and Cal State LA alum.
With recent events being brought to light, now is the time for leaders to change the landscape of the entertainment industry to support the need for more opportunities, representation and equity. Intersectionality of roles for people of color, pay equity for women, sexual harassment in the workplace, roles and casting of transgender and non-binary performers, and more were brought to the table for discussion with a full audience of students and professors taking notes and asking questions.
Cal State LA is devoted to preparing and promoting underrepresented voices and visions in the entertainment industries by providing the tools needed to face the challenges of the industry and to fuel changes towards a more welcoming and inclusive landscape.
The MFA in TVFT program immerses students in an intensive skill-based interdisciplinary program towards pursuing professional careers across all three mediums of production (TV, Film, Theatre) within one’s specific area/Option (Acting, Production, Writing). We like to call this ‘LA’s Triple Threat’. The ‘Waking Up’ panel discussion is an example of the types of experiences we also strive to make more space for to keep important conversations like this going.
By Kathleen Sanchez | Cal State LA College of Arts and Letters News Service