MediaVillage’s very first roundtable featuring four Indigenous actors discussing the evolving roles of Amerindians | national news
NEW YORK, 23 November 2021 / PRNewswire / – In honor of Native American Heritage Month, MediaVillage.com’s Multicultural TV Talk is launching its first roundtable of Indigenous actors today. Hosted by MediaVillage Columnist Juan Ayala, the program features four actors giving us a candid insight into what it means to be Native American in the entertainment industry today.
MediaVillage launches the first roundtable of indigenous actors hosted by the multicultural television columnist Juan Ayala.
The Special Edition of the Multicultural TV Talk Roundtable Presents Rainbow dickerson, from the award-winning film Beans; Isabelle Leblanc of the next Pet Sematist prequel to Paramount +; Amber Middle of Thunder of the CW Roswell, New Mexico; and D’Pharoah Woon-a-tai from the critically acclaimed FX on Hulu series Dogs reservation.
âThese four incredible actors discuss the serious lack of Indigenous representation in the media while celebrating recent progress in the right direction, as well as their desire for less suffering and more joy in Indigenous stories, and the changes they want. see for a more inclusive entertainment and media industries, âsays Ayala.
Highlights of the questions and excerpts are below:
- “What culture means to you? “
Rainbow: Culture is changing. Culture for me is connecting to who you are, to who you have been in the past and to your ancestors; embrace who you are now and move that forward in the future.
Isabelle: It comes down to the community. When I think about culture and cultures, I have learned that it is about traditions and ways of being with each other and taking care of each other.
D’Pharoah: Your community. The customs of your people. Language, dances, music, and all the rest.
amber: It’s everyday life. This is what you are. This is how you exist. It is something that is ingrained in you. Your ancestry and who your ancestors were and what brought you here. How you interact and approach daily life.
- âWhat is a performance, film or series that you saw for the first time that you felt represented or seen? “
Isabelle: ABC made a TV movie called “DreamKeeper”. It rocked my world because not only was it filled with Indigenous people, Indigenous actors and faces that I recognized, but it was also filled with Indigenous stories from different tribes. Seeing people who looked like me tell stories that reminded me of those I grew up with shook my world.
From Pharoah: “Dance Me Outside “, which was shot in Ontario. I live in Ontario and this reservation is not far off.
Rainbow: I have not had the experience of not having the impression of being represented in the world or on the screen and it is because of my parents or the way I grew up. . . I love the story and I could find myself in this story. But if I thought of films that I can relate to, it was “Whale Rider” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”.
- âWhat more and less do you hope to see when it comes to Indigenous representation in entertainment? “
D’Pharoah: Proud to be part of “Reservation Dogs” and that there is another project like “Rutherford Falls. “ Glad to see more comedy with native content and native storytellers because we’re very funny people. Other past projects with Indigenous-led content were very depressing.
Isabelle: Second, humor. Humor has been a survival mechanism. This is something that escaped the aboriginal people and was not said by the aboriginal people. I am excited about a time when we are becoming very specific about the people and stories we come from, as well as specific tribes and regions.
amber: Speaking of ‘Reservation Dogs’, what’s great is how well balanced and well balanced it is. We have been romanticized or portrayed as bad guys before. We have been demoted to one dimension in our representation. . . What’s great now is that we are seen as people, as normal full-fledged people who have lives and interests in our city, our “res” and all that different stuff.
Rainbow: I’m fed up with the suffering of the Olympics, I want to see less symbolism. It’s time to focus on the positive things. I would like to see a more complete narration, more care in the overall telling of a story. This means that we can’t just add a character at the last minute and not think about where they’re coming from and what that means.
- “Knowing how appearance-driven our industry can be, have you struggled in the hearing room because sometimes you don’t fit the narrow mindset of what a person should look like?” native? “
Isabelle: We are your neighbor, we are your doctor, we are artists, we are so many things. We just need to be seen like this. It’s a very strange thing that many times we end up being seen as sub-humans in stories because of other people’s ideas about our culture; because of a long biased perception of our traditions and our culture. This concept being corrected through new stories, new writers, and new characters – that’s what I want to see.
Rainbow: Two stereotypes that we can get rid of. One is the wise exotic thing or little native princess that can go and the other is incompetent or stupid. I want to hear more traditional languages ââthere. Let’s stop having no knowledge and not being smart.
Juan Ayala is a Brooklynwriter, podcaster and columnist based at MediaVillage. It covers programming aimed at a diverse, multicultural and LGBTQ + audience under its Multicultural television column. Juan hosts exclusive podcast interviews with on-screen talent and behind-the-scenes creators sharing their stories of how they’re changing the face of stardom in entertainment and media.
Also in honor of Native American Heritage Month, MediaVillage’s In the Loop correspondent Kelly kozakevich highlights three Indigenous peoples showcasing their heritage on TikTok. This is Zane Switzer, better known as @IndigenousZane, is of Nahua and Otomi descent; Verna Volker (@nativewomanruns) is the founder of Native Women Running; and Chad Lorenzo (@ashkiijosh) focuses on educating others through art and music.
For content created to explore diversity issues within the media and entertainment industry, visit www.AdvancingDiversity.org. For a direct link to the Native American Heritage Month special roundtable edition of Multicultural TV Talk, visit https://www.mediavillage.com/article/native-american-heritage-month-a-special-roundtable -edition-of- multicultural-tv-talk-podcast /.
About multicultural television:
Multicultural TV is one of a series of AdvancingDiversity.org programs offered on MediaVillage.com which also includes Advancing Diversity: Black Leaders Matter, Ask Gen Z, LGBT + Advancing, The Age of Aging, The Pool and WomenAdvancing.org. Hosted by Juan Ayala, Multicultural TV covers a wide range of programming, reflecting the diverse cultures in the United States and the LGBTQ + community, ranging from Spanish language programming on Univision and Telemundo to millennial and Generation Z focused series on Hulu, The CW, and more. For more Ayala stories, visit Multicultural TV.
Media contact: Diane stefani, [email protected]
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