January 30th’s , 2016
Submitted by Cristiane Roget, correspondent prworldmedia.com
Photo Credit : “This is what an 56 year old ass looks like”. Rolling Stone
Miami Beach/NATPE The legendary Norman Lear and the seven time Oscar nominee Quincy Jones, may be in front of their most defining moment of their careers; that is, championing the end of ageism, Hollywood’s last taboo. While the LGBT (“Glee”, “Modern Family”) ,sexual liberation among women (Amy Schumer) and racial diversity (Key & Peele) having entered the popular mainstream, ageism continues to get a pass in our society.
Conversely, the Brits embrace their aging populations with lead roles, as in the dowager countess , Maggie Smith in “Downton Abbey” * is awarded the best lines of all. “All of life is a series of problems which we must try and solve. ”
Lear, Jones are leading the charge against ageism with Madonna* taking up the banner, insisting that discrimination, derision and mockery of the mature is the last taboo to be overcome. “Female artists over the age of 40 having to justify their careers is nothing new, but it’s still infuriating”. By
The two trail blazers were in top form in the Storytellers and the Shaping of Pop Culture Chat with Quincy Jones and Norman Lear making a return performance from last year’s NATPE. The 93 year young producer of such ground breakers as, “All in the Family”, “Maude”, and “The Jeffersons”, suggested the true disrupters should take a lead from programs like ‘Modern Family’, ‘Little Horribles’ and other formally taboo themes.
He stresses that Hollywood today is as inclusive as it was three decades ago; when Norman Lear’s All in the Family was satirizing American bigotry in the character of the acerbic Archie Bunker.
With Spike Lee, Jada Pinkett Smith boycotting the Academy Awards (and Whoppi and Don Cheadle pushing back) debating if the glass being half full or half empty makes a point but misses the target. The mandate of the entire entertainment industry and society as a whole is to take a proactive stance in being kind, paying forward while building the new incarnation of Hollywood.
Alluding to the complex relation between personal creative freedom and public responsibility, the panel inferred that a “unified voice; free of prejudice, bigotry and fear must lead the way.” That mercurial thing called ‘talent’ does not have a color code, gender designation or expiration date.
With the coming out of the LGBT community and the racial card in play the tyranny of ageism with an underpinning of deep psychological fears of impending death drives Hollywood’s fixation with eternal youth. Even screenwriters over the age of forty find themselves in the no man’s land otherwise known as the ‘gray list’.
Producers would serve themselves well by being less risk averse when creating programming for and by mature populations. It is almost counter intuitive that there is not one single program on the nations prime time line up that does not diminish or stereotype people over 70. Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Robert Di Niro, Helen Mirren hold their own in features with Clooney and Samuel L. Jackson coming up in years. Why is Television land so blind sighted of this prevailing reality.
With one out of 3 Americans over the age of 50, the unspoken deceit among those who fund TV shows takes on a potent irony. Historically outspoken on controversial issues, Lear and many others continue to hit a wall when it comes to the institutional arrogance of programmers obsessed with the 18-34 year old demographic.
There are companies making a commendable crack at engaging the growing boomer demo who possess the lion’s share of discretionary income that is the golden ring for purveyors of luxury goods and services. “The B & B Diaries” is one such program in development by Dirty Martini Productions helmed by Toni D’Antonio of Shake The Tree Productions and Lou Martini, Jr. with Dirty Martini Productions. An unscripted travel show, hosted by award-winning Inn Keeper and author, Ann Law,with sweeping locations all over the USA, “B & B” follows Ann and her inspirational stories about living “The Optimal Life“. A Sizzle, EPK and Pilot are available at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gisela A. Minnbergh, formally of Endemol Shine, is currently an acquisition consultant for Viking Cruises exploring ancillary deals that embrace the tastes of a demanding and sophisticated over 50 set, called by Ad Age as “the savviest consumers in the history advertising, who are both web astute , mobile-enabled, data sifters where elective decisions and purchases are increasingly made on line.
(listen up Millennials the post 50 set invented the home computer and the web)
With the proliferation of distribution platforms there is no dearth of program options to keep the creative pipeline pumping. And for those out there bemoaning the lack of diversity; Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite’s “Ghost Ghirls” , Upright Citizen Brigades’s “Pursuit of Sexiness” with Nicole Byer and Saheen Zapata“ , Ben Stiller’s Bachelorette/Bachelor spoof, “Burning Love” and “Little Horribles” , a cringe worthy take on the LGBT community with a Louis CK vibe is more diverse than a box of 64 Crayola’s ™. Content makers with ingenuity and are resourceful no longer require the budgets equal to the GNP of a small country in order to find their audience.
“Need one mention NATPE-Miami unreels in chill worthy surroundings and is an anticipated reprieve from the jaw cracking winter’s elsewhere,” says Gloria Kisel-Hollis from her roost in Manhattan. The Director-Producer of the “Brentwood Connection”, starring an ensemble cast that includes Maria Conchita Alonso, short film/pilot was honored at last year’s New York Film Festival as the ‘Best Romantic Comedy’ short. Kisel–Hollis celebrates the dawn of Cuba/USA relations with her spot on “Hialeah”, a reality- dramatic- comedy series in development that unfolds in a Cuban Cafeteria, the Latin equivalent to an African American Barbershop.
“The price of admission at NATPE is pricy serving to keep the hoi polloi in the Bleau Bar Lobby. Given the events, extravagant gourmet dining options, opens bars, a cadre of intel volunteers ready to assist, the press corp, suites & market, book signings, social media lounges, prescient panels , educational and writers sidebars, reunions with new friends, colleagues and done deals galore; a registration badge and an eight dollar cup of coffee is worth its weight in spades.
For a glimpse in the latest developments register now for NATPE – Budapest where content creators and technology co mingle as the Disruptors of tomorrow’s TV terrain.
* the most watched television series on both ITV and PBS and the most successful British costume drama series since the 1981, Brideshead Revisited
Photo Credit: Ted Sarandos, Netflix, Quincy Jones, Norman Lear and Madonna, Rolling Stone
Photo Credit: Bruce Soloway with YuVie Play, Toni D’Antonio with Shake The Tree Productions, Joseph Farkas with The Numuvee Company, Lou Martini, Jr. with Dirty Martini Productions and Timea Tompa with The Numuvee Company.
Photo Credit: Gloria Kisel-Hollis and Maria Conchita Alonso, “Hialeah” and “Brentwood Diaries”.
Madonna Gets passionate when speaking of ageism . She released her new album Rebel Heart on March 6th , 2015 (read our review of the album here), reserves her most eloquent remarks for the topic of ageism, in pop writing and in society. “It’s still the one area where you can totally discriminate against somebody,” she says, “and talk shit. Because of their age.”