The More Than That show has launched a very special Pride episode, Full Spectrum, which is focused on Black LGBTQ+ on-screen representation.
Created in partnership with Cadillac, More Than That host Gia Peppers is joined by co-host Tre'vell Anderson to speak with prominent Black LGBTQ+ voices in Hollywood -- A Black Lady Sketch Show's Laci Mosley, Lovecraft Country's Victor Jackson, and TV news anchor Femi Redwood -- about the path toward greater visibility. These conversations addressed a post-Pose television landscape, the hurdles facing marginalized people in pursuing media careers, and milestones in representation.
For Peppers, a highlight of having these talks on Full Spectrum were the insights provided by her co-host, Anderson.
"There is something so special about a human being who stands in their truth but also amplifies others through great spirit, entertainment, talent, but also the facts," Peppers tells Daniel Reynolds, Out's editor in chief, in a episode conversation.
From Anderson, Peppers learned to be a greater ally to the LGBTQ+ community and how greater representation in media should lead to self-reflection about real-world empathy. "Yes, we love these characters, but are we loving the people in our lives?" she summarized as a takeaway.
For Anderson, it is important that audiences like Out magazine's readers -- many of them white cisgender people -- hear from these points of view as well. "They're not engaging in these conversations in their every day," Anderson says. "They don't necessarily have a diverse friend group to be able to talk about the unique experiences that Black and Brown LGBTQ+ people experience as compared to our white counterparts."
Anderson also believes it's essential for brands like Cadillac to continue "investing in Black creators to have these types of necessary conversations." And indeed, through its Audacity platform to amplify and accelerate the work of audacious Black leaders in different industries. Along with this program, Cadillac is working on various efforts with Black creatives and entrepreneurs.
"For me, my hope is that the investment in our communities continues, right, but it goes beyond just More Than [That], and it goes into the everyday lives of Black and Brown LGBTQ+ folks," Anderson adds.
Anderson also expressed excitement about bringing in more Black LGBTQ+ stars --"the biggest of the names" -- as well as "up-and-coming legendary kids" in future Full Spectrum episodes. "I think this is an opportunity particularly for us to have conversations among allies and among community members in terms of what our unique experiences are as Black LGBTQ+ folks," Anderson says, "and I think so many of the celebrities and noted names that are out there have great things that could contribute to that conversation."
For Peppers, that means passing the mic. "I think part of being an ally is giving people the full space to take up as many things as possible," she says.
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