Regina King not afraid to call out Hol­ly­wood

Ac­tress ad­vo­cat­ing for fairer gen­der rep­re­sen­ta­tion with ‘Her Shot’ cam­paign

StarMetro Vancouver - - DAILY LIFE - Kather­ine Lalancette

When Regina King en­coun­ters some­thing she feels is wrong, she does some­thing about it.

Like when she penned an open let­ter in the Huff­in­g­ton Post de­plor­ing the lack of racial di­ver­sity at the 2010 Em­mys. King, who was con­vinced she’d never again re­ceive an in­vite to the cer­e­mony, has since nabbed three of the winged stat­uettes — proof that it pays to de­mand the change you want to see.

These days, the ac­tress and di­rec­tor is turn­ing her at­ten­tion to the world of ad­ver­tis­ing, in which not even 7 per cent of con­tent is cre­ated by women.

She’s part­nered with Gil­lette Venus for its “Her Shot” cam­paign, men­tor­ing 10 upand-com­ing fe­male di­rec­tors who were asked to pro­duce videos on the fe­male per­spec­tive. We caught up with King to dis­cuss the im­por­tance of par­ity and pay­ing it for­ward.

Why do you feel it’s im­por­tant to have more women cre­at­ing con­tent?

“I think it’s im­por­tant for not just women, but for the world as a whole to un­der­stand that it’s es­sen­tial to get per­spec­tives from dif­fer­ent spa­ces. The fact of the mat­ter is that 50 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion is fe­male, but un­der 7 per cent of the con­tent we’re see­ing in com­mer­cials and ads is made by women. We need to have more bal­anced mes­sag­ing and more bal­anced op­por­tu­ni­ties for cre­ative ex­pres­sion.”

What do you hope to ac­com­plish with this cam­paign?

“I want to help bring at­ten­tion to these num­bers and to cham­pion the fact that Gil­lette Venus is tak­ing a step to­ward evening the play­ing field, in the hopes that other com­pa­nies on that level will fol­low suit. More than any­thing, I want to use my voice to bring at­ten­tion to these cre­ators. These women are new to us, but they’ve been ex­press­ing their cre­ativ­ity for a while, but haven’t had a large plat­form on which to show­case their art.”

You were asked to men­tor these women. What was that like?

“We’re us­ing the word men­tor­ing, but the beauty of this process is that we’re learn­ing from each other. Watch­ing these videos and the con­tent from women that are so dif­fer­ent has been more of a part­ner­ship and a space for all of us cre­ators to be sup­port­ive of one an­other. I think I’m get­ting just as

much out of it as they are.” Read the full in­ter­view at

The ac­tress and di­rec­tor is blaz­ing a trail for gen­der rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Hol­ly­wood.

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