Founding Partners of Culture House Raeshem Nijhon, Carri Twigg, and Nicole Galovski, have committed to #ChangeofHollywood’s re-imagined inclusion rider policy!
Culture House, a Black,Brown and Women owned premium film and TV production company, specializes in non-fiction film, television, cultural narrative shift, while also creating opportunities for people of color, women and queer people, and non-traditional voices on both sides of the camera. Along with AMC Studios, Forest Whitaker’s Significant Productions, Scott Budnick’s One Community, to name a few, have committed to #ChangeofHollywood’s reimagined inclusion rider policy, a contract provision designed to bring about workplace diversity through inclusive hiring on film and TV projects. In addition to the new inclusion rider, Dr. Plater’s implementation guide has been released for entertainment companies. The guide serves as a template that sets forth the principles of the inclusion rider as policy. The purpose of the combination of these resources is to build greater equity in the entertainment industry by focusing on accountability and hiring targets. #ChangeHollywood, an initiative of the civil-rights group Color of Change.
In an effort to put the “public” back in Public Health and explore the impact race and socioeconomic status have on healthcare and longevity, YouTube recently announced one of its original series, “Barbershop Medicine,” Drawing from this concept of community medicine, this special will bring together musical artist Masego, renowned physicians Dr. Italo Brown and Dr. Jamie Rutland and community members in a storied barbershop to discuss today’s most pressing health concern, COVID-19. The discussion will center on COVID and its disproportionate impact on Black and Brown communities while also tackling the misinformation and mistrust surrounding the vaccination in hopes of increasing awareness and accessibility. The special is from the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund and is executive produced by Raeshem Nijhon, Carri Twigg and Nicole Galovksi for Culture House, Charles D. King, Marta Fernandez, Jelani Johnson, and Aisha Corpas Wynn for MACRO Television Studios. Hashim Williams is executive producer and show-runner.
We got a chance to speak with Founding Partners of Culture House, Raeshem Nijhon, Carri Twigg, and Nicole Galovski about Culture House’s commitment to diversity and the new YouTube Original “Barbershop Medicine”, check it out below!
The Knockturnal: Can you tell us about Culture House’s mission?
Culture House: Culture House’s mission is to make work that is both visually stunning and culturally productive. All of our projects center around some intersection of pop culture and politics, so whether it’s exploring misogyny through the experience of women in hip hop, or adolescence through art and activism, we make films and series that help push us forward and shape our collective future. We are also on a mission to get our industry to believe process is as important as product. Who is telling the story and from what POV is as important a consideration as what ends up on the screen.
The Knockturnal: Culture House has committed to the #ChangeHollywood inclusion policy. What are some of the key points in the new policy?
Culture House: It was so exciting for us to be a part of the #changehollywood initiative and commit to using the inclusion rider. Color of Change, alongside brilliant producers like Fanshen Cox, have created fantastic materials for individuals and companies to use when making film and TV, and what’s so great about it is that it’s comprehensive, so the key points are many. However, one of our favorite commitments the inclusion rider ask is for Script Review. So, before a project even starts, there is a qualified review of the script and a conversation about how it can be oriented toward inclusivity. The insidious reality of being raised and conditioned in a society that has centered and made the default option whiteness is that we ALL have to do extra work or envision and imagine alternatives. This step facilitates that process of moving beyond our bias.
The Knockturnal: Can you talk about putting this new policy into effect alongside Dr. Plater’s implementation guide?
Culture House: Culture House is owned and run by women and women of color. So for us, it’s not a new policy, but now a formalized, and publicly announced one. We have been methodical about ensuring that our content supply chain is representative of the inclusivity we want to see in the industry – everything from ensuring our sets are diverse in multifaceted ways (going beyond just race and gender), that we and our collaborators are people authentically positioned to tell the stories we are working on, to innovating new team structures that create equitable environments. We are not new to this work.
The Knockturnal: How was producing the new YouTube Original Series “Barbershop Medicine”?
Culture House: Barbershop Medicine is a show that we are really proud of because it’s so true to the conversations that we are already having in our communities. It’s both reflective and inspirational, which is a powerful combination. We love our partners at MACRO and Dr. Italo Brown and Dr. Cedric Rutland are the absolute best.
The Knockturnal: What’s coming next from Culture House?
Culture House: We have SO many amazing announcements coming soon!! We can’t wait to share with folks. I can’t say much yet, but we have a show coming about Women in Hip Hop, a show about Black women and our hair, a dating show, and more!