DiversityThe ‘Virtual Power of Law Event’ presented by Citi National Bank brought industry experts on July 15 to discuss the importance of making entertainment more equitable for both the top and the screen.
Music Attorney Dina Lapalt; Jody Garson, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group; Effie Brown, CEO of Gamechanger Films; Kelly Coffee, chief executive of City National Bank; Devlin Franklin, president and chief executive of Frenchlin Entertainment, attended the virtual event to show how everyone is working to change Hollywood.
Lapalt, this year Diversity Power of Law Lone has made it his mission to advocate for lyricists to get the royalties they deserve. As a key supporter and advisor to the Music Modernization Act, Laplett has worked to reform decades-old laws that make it more difficult for songwriters to achieve their fair share in the age of digital streaming services. In a conversation with Jarson, Lapult shared why this work is so revolutionary.
“For the first time in American history, there is a lyricist at your table with the administration of collection and mechanical royalty income. The way it pays lyricists and music publishers in America is really going to revolutionize it, ”Lapolt said. “Before MMA, all the record companies used to collect mechanical royalty income and they would give this money to the publishers, and if you are self-published, they would give this money to the lyricists.”
Garson praised Lopalt’s work and highlighted his dedication and commitment to putting lyricists first.
“It’s not like you’re making money advising lyricists – you’re not. What we do benefits lyricists, benefits us,” Garson said of Universal. “You don’t get the same benefits financially, and yet you become lyricists.” Got this passion and I want to thank you for it because it made a great difference. “
The film and TV industry needs to be streamlined when it comes to presenting images outside of songwriting. Brown has won the Brazilian Medal as the chief executive of an equity fund created to fund films for women, LGBTQ + community members, people with disabilities and people of color. However, Brown not only wants more representation in the films themselves, but also from investors.
“What I want to do is not only include the front of the camera in our projects, but also our financing table and our investors,” Brown said. “I would like to welcome them to invest in film financing to undermine what it actually looks like.”
By broadening the voices of his filmmakers, Brown hopes to make stories more diverse about women, LGBTQ + people, people with disabilities, and people of color.
“My last game was to create an organization where women, people of color, LGBTQIA and people with disabilities could make their films and it’s not a matter of tragedy or poverty,” Brown said. We can do a history movie, we can do something that actually builds a cultural bridge
Franklin, who worked on “Happiness of Pursuit” and created “Breakthrough”, echoed Brown’s sentiments. I noticed in this article that it says that Devon created the Process of Happiness.
Franklin said, “It’s really important to humanize the depiction of people of color, especially black people, because historically our images, especially film images, have been very narrow.” “One way to show the black life is that movies or films about social justice are not done. While these are important, it is also important to provide a spectrum of content and entertainment that reflects the lovely nature and outlook of people of color. “
Furthermore, Franklin encouraged them to take it upon themselves to ensure that their black clients were paid fairly under the law.
“We’re talking about the power of the law – if you’re an attorney now and you’re representing color clients, start looking at the files and say, OK, for the same level of talent, my color clients make this offer, but my white clients that Is. But the issue of black life is important, so as a representative I would not allow studios or networks to offer low pay for the same services, ” Franklin said.
“Equity is also needed from the corporate side,” Coffey said. City National Bank is creating a mentoring program to create an opportunity that ensures that this is a movement, not a moment.
“We’re looking for a really interesting sponsorship and mentoring program, because where we need to focus on delivering the right message at the branch level, there’s senior leadership,” Coffey said. “I’ve been working to diversify our leadership team over the past year, representing both women and Hispanics in our executive community – and we have more work to do.”
Franklin stressed that, in the end, change comes in the person – especially those who are in places of power.
“No matter what I do as a person of color, I’m not the person in power,” Franklin said. “I can be vocal about it all day, but in the end it’s going to take someone white and in power, ‘You know what, I’ve heard you and we’re going to partner with you to change and make a different choice.'”
Diversity‘Shirley Halperin, Cynthia Littleton, Elaine Lowe and General Riley have moderated the four panels.
Check out Littleton’s full conversation with Coffee below.