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  • Writer's picturePhil Fairclough

NatGeo - Missing the Diversity Bandwagon

Am I the only person who's astonished and unimpressed by #NatGeo's latest attempt to hop on the diversity bandwagon? In a press release, Nat Geo lauds their panel of mentors to a group of diverse, aspiring film-makers. To a man ... and woman ... these mentors are entirely, white, Western (largely English) , mostly male, 50+, formally educated, producers.

Not a black, Asian or minority ethnic face among them...tho' there is one honorable Hispanic. No knock on the individuals... some are friends and former colleagues. But Nat Geo is at best out of touch ... and at worst...blindly perpetuating the view of film-making as a privileged, club for white, Westerners. Could NG, with their tentacles all over the world, REALLY not come up with a single black/brown producer? I can name many.

Here's a great one... NALLA of Grey Films, the Indian DP and producer who has the best tiger footage in the world and has also made films for NG. Anyone who's seriously trying to encourage diversity in any field, such as #STEM, knows #mentorship works best when mentors look like the people they're helping and have actually lived the struggle.

It’s not difficult to be a mentor, but apparently impossible for Nat Geo of ALL organizations to find any role models and advisors who aren’t long established, traditional white film-makers. C’mon Nat Geo Channels/Disney ... you can do better. This is insulting to the many diverse filmmakers and experts you work with. I encourage/challenge others to come up with some non-white mentors for Nat Geo’s next announcement. I’s be happy to suggest some more names for you if you’re coming up blank.

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