It might be an overly and overtly optimistic view, but we think that the panel's immediate sell-out and the extensive press coverage that followed are indications both of an intense interest in the topic of ageism as well as evidence that the discussion is long overdue. There is definitely a bottled-up need to talk about the issue openly. This frustration was made clear by first by the panelists during our discussion and then by the audience, in an extensive and passionate Q&A afterward. People from every standing in the industry took the microphone and stood up to voice their concerns, their angers and, most of all, their heartfelt pleas for advice to the panel. Writers, stunt women, editors, actors, producers – people who work in front of and behind the camera – all had a similarly themed story to tell: the older they got, the more difficult it is to find work.
Our hope is that the panel has added more than a little momentum to the movement and the message. Of course, amplification of the message is crucial and toward that end, we think we're off to a very encouraging start: The event was covered byThe Los Angeles Times, Deadline as well as Geena Davis' See Jane organization, whose model for the inclusion of women and girls in media can – and probably should – also be used as a model for the issue of age diversity in film and television. The panel also received in-depth coverage from Vanity Fair, The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, PBS's Next Avenue, Broadway World, Entertainment Tonight Canada, The New Hollywood, Yahoo News and Highlight Hollywood. The event was stream lived by Popwrapped.
So, despite the historical lack progress on the issue, we're encouraged. And we plan to do this again. And probably again, because it will probably be necessary. As part of our effort to get the word out and keep it out, we encourage you or your organization to do the same. Forums are needed, and frequently – that's the centrifugal force keeping the plate spinning, that frequency. There's no shortage of stories to tell or voices to tell them, and certainly no dearth of questions that need asking and answering, or at least thinking about. What we've also learned, though, is that there also is no shortage of messengers for the message – print press, television, bloggers, media of all sorts are eager to cover a subject that's become oddly taboo (outside the confines of the beauty industry, anyway). Whether you are mulling the idea or planning to have a discussion, please do contact us if you have any questions, need advice or maybe have some advice for us. We're here to listen and collaborate. And conspire.
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