Q4 2020

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46 C I N E M O N T A G E G R O U P I N T E R V I E W that everyone can be positive, respectful, collaborative and inclusive always. A place where there's no discrimination and people can embrace their differences together. A place where everyone can check their egos at the door and put their preconceptions on pause. Lastly, a place where everyone can enjoy long hours together! Ruben Navarro: My vision for an eq- uitable workplace is a place with respect and understanding when we can learn from each other. As storytellers, we can change the world telling stories, but we have to start making the changes in our workspace. S a b r i n a G i m e n e z : H i r i n g i n d i v i d u a l s f o r b o t h t h e i r j o b skills AND their positionality is the foundation to a strong equi- table workplace. When we care about our colleagues and create environments where they can be productive and succeed, it's crazy but that incidentally does improve the bottom line, as unbelievable as it might seem from the outset. Maysie Hoy: My vision for an equita- ble workplace is one in which everyone has a voice. Everyone contributes. Every- one is respected. Q Have you personally experienced bias in hiring practices? And if so, what was that experience like? Lillian Benson: One experience that deeply affected me was an interview I had for a new magazine show at CBS in NY. I had just done "Eyes on the Prize" and been nominated for an Emmy. That series was seminal in my life and made me feel that "if I died the next day," I had done something to make the world better. So this was my mindset going into this interview. I can still remember what I was wearing, because of course I always dressed very carefully when I went into an interview that mattered. The person with whom I interviewed was a white woman who was probably a little bit older than I, but not much. So I walked in, and her mouth dropped open. And I knew what that meant. That she did not expect to see a Black woman who had a resume like mine. And I thought it was ironic since the person who recommended me was an African-American male editor. So you know, automatically, I'm upset, hurt and then I kind of bristled. I didn't get the job, which was okay because the job I did get after that was a PBS show that took me to California. After that experience, I decided to move to Los Angeles two years later. But I know in my heart that one of the reasons I did not get hired at CBS was race — the producer could not see me as one of her editors. Tricia Rodrigo: I work on teams. Large teams of maybe 15 to 20 editors. And when you're the only person of color and the only woman, there is definitely bias in the hiring practices. I cannot be the only woman of color who has skills and the ability to do this job. Bobbi Banks: In an interview with a director who was white and whose cast was predominately people of color, he said, "Do you know how to shoot Black ADR?" My response was, "Well, what do you mean?" And he replied, "Well, you know, they don't move their mouths much." Dorian Harris : Although I come from a position of white privilege, I've been subjected to a lot of oppression at the hands of white men in this business. For instance, I was hired to cut a very high-profile pilot for CBS a few years ago, and I was hired by the director, for whom I had previously worked. All white post-production crew, mostly male. The turnaround was so fast that we needed to bring on another editor, and they hired Farrel Levy ACE, who happens to be a friend of mine, but we had never worked together before. The pilot was picked up by CBS. We were never notified or thanked and we were never called to work on the series. And we knew that because Farrel had a friend who was a post producer on it. I wasn't available, so I was never going to work on it. But Farrel did want to work on it. And the post producer said, "Your name's not on the list. I have the list of all the people they're going to be talking to, and I can't believe it, but you're not on it." I had a friend who is an editor but was a producer on the pilot so I called him and I said, "Why isn't Farrel on this list? We worked like dogs and you sold the pilot." And he said -- and this is coded language that they use for women frequently in scripted television -- "We didn't think that you or Farrel were good with action." Everyone here knows exactly what that means. It just means you're a woman. Maysie Hoy: I first decided I wanted to go into acting. I went to a city college and I was studying to be a dietician. And so then I saw these kids in the commis- sary having a lot of fun, and I go, "What program are you in?" And they said, "Theater program." I went directly to the guidance counselor there and I said, "I'd like to transfer into the theater program." And she looked at me. She goes, "Are you sure this is what you want to do?" I go, "Yeah." And she goes, "Well, you know 'I've seen a lot of oppression at the hands of white men.'

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