Ahead of the season-two debut of Spectrum’s LA’s Finest, the stars and executive producers came together for a virtual roundtable discussing the representation of people of color in Hollywood.
“Sony TV was helping Spectrum Originals launch LA’s Finest, but the original launch date was a week after the death of George Floyd and they felt they didn’t need to premiere this at that time,” said Jessica Lane, co-founder and head of digital content and marketing at Pop’N Creative. “Sony asked us ‘how can we have a conversation with our audience about what’s going on that will feel authentic to this moment.’ They wanted to elevate the executive producers and have a conversation about race in Hollywood and what it means to have a show in which the stars and producers are diverse themselves.”
Pop’N Creative worked closely with the show’s producer, Sony Pictures Television, to assemble the panel, which included stars Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union, as well as executive producers Anton Cropper, Brandon Sonnier, Brandon Margolis and Pam Veasey. The roundtable was hosted by Cortney Wills, entertainment editor for theGrio, and included industry expert, Arisha Hatch, vice president of Color of Change.
Pop’N Creative, with Creative Producer Vanessa Mujica leading production, captured the panel on Zoom, but then edited all of the footage and audio and added graphics to create a fully produced piece.
“The logistics aspect of the shoot was a bit of a nightmare, but we did tech rehearsals both internally and externally,” Mujica said. “We spent the morning of the panel making sure all of the talent was ready to and that everyone’s audio was in a good spot. It was challenging but we got there.”
To garner more reach for the campaign, Pop’N Creative reached out to both the Grio and Color of Change to create partnerships. The Grio had a three-hour exclusive window to release it across its social media platforms, while Color of Change also posted the piece on its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels, which boast a combined 1.8 million users.
“One of Color of Change’s big initiatives is Hollywood,” said Lane. “Earlier this year, they published a report about how Hollywood treats the crime space and crime shows in general, and they had a lot of information about how Hollywood treats people of color.”
The panel’s purpose was to speak out on the moments of racism its participants have faced throughout their careers and acknowledge the challenges that people of color encounter. They also addressed L.A.’s Finest’s approach to storytelling and how the creative and production teams ensured diverse voices of color were represented across the show’s hiring and creative process.
“Everyone’s authenticity and transparency was great,” said Lane. “The stories that Gabrielle and Jessica shared were so inspiring to me, along with the fact that they were able to be so transparent and weren’t afraid to speak out.”
Later this fall, season one of L.A.’s Finest will premiere on Fox.
Pop’N Creative in partnership with Sony Pictures Television’s and Spectrum’s L.A.’s Finest