On April 28, 2018, the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) hosted seven media professionals — including Karamo Brown of Netflix’s Queer Eye; Hip Hollywood senior producer Jasmine Simpkins; syndicated radio host Tanya Hart; EURweb’s Lee Bailey; L.A. Focus Newspaper publisher Lisa Collin; James Ward, manager of Communications for the Oprah Winfrey Network; and the Rev. K.W. Tulloss — in a panel addressing the challenging issues facing black media today.
According to the Los Angeles-based BHERC, while movements like #OscarsSoWhite and #TimesUp have shed light on Hollywood’s issues with race and gender, no one is talking about its issue with black media.
For years, stated BHERC, black media has been marginalized and/or taken for granted by studios, publicists and even talent. They stated that they’ve regularly been placed at the end of red carpets, haven’t been invited to film and TV press days, and have simply been told “no” because their audience is predominately African American. “Over the years, it has become a rampant problem,” the Center concluded.
As part of its Annual African American Film Marketplace & S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase at the Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, BHERC’s panel explored how access is granted to black press, while also examining the disparity in marketing, promotional, and advertising dollars granted to black media, as well as how that divide can be positively bridged.
Moderator Karamo Brown, who currently serves as the Culture expert on the Netflix reboot of Queer Eye, began his career in 2004 on the MTV reality show, The Real World: Philadelphia. He was a contributing host on HLN’s Dr. Drew on Call, worked on YouTube’s The Young Turks, served as host and producer of HuffPost Live for the Huffington Post, and was a recurring guest host for Access Hollywood Live. In 2014, Brown became a host and segment producer for the Own Show.
Panelist Jasmine Simpkins currently serves as a correspondent and senior producer for Kevin Frazier’s HipHollywood.com. She is a regular contributor on CNN and HLN.
Lee Bailey began his broadcast career in 1970 as an on-air radio personality. He’s best known for his syndicated radio show RadioScope, which lasted for two decades. Today, Bailey hosts EUR/Electronic Urban Report.
James Ward III is the manager of Communications at OWN. He was previously a publicist at THAUrban (now Transform Agency), handling clients like FOX, Sony, NBC and WB Pictures.
Tanya Hart is a syndicated radio personality who hosts Hollywood Live with Tanya Hart on more than 300 stations for the American Urban Radio Network. She’s hosted entertainment programs such as E! Entertainment Television’s Gossip Show, and BET’s Live From LA With Tanya Hart. In 2016, she was elected co-chair of The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors, making her the first African-American and first woman to head up the 40-year-old entertainment industry trade organization.
Lisa Collins is the founder/publisher of newspaper L.A. Focus. She is a journalist who worked for more than a decade at Billboard Magazine; served as a segment producer at BET; syndicated an entertainment column published in more than 100 weekly black newspapers; and has authored well over 300 articles on a variety of issues for a number of national publications from Essence to Upscale.
Rev. K.W. Tulloss is the Los Angeles president and Western Regional director of Rev. Al Sharpton’s local civil rights group, National Action Network. Pastor Tulloss also served as Senior Pastor of the historical Weller Street Missionary Baptist Church.
Pictured above: Top row, l. to r.: James Ward, Jasmine Simpkins, Lisa Collins, Lee Bailey. Bottom row, l. to r.: Tanya Hart, K.W. Tulloss, Karamo Brown