Mitu Co-founder Roy Burstin Returns As CEO Of Latino-Focused Media Company

Mitu co-founder Roy Burstin is returning as chief executive of the Latino-focused digital media company, which has just completed a new $10 million funding round.
The struggling site, which underwent a major layoff this summer, is shifting focus as it …

Mitu co-founder Roy Burstin is returning as chief executive of the Latino-focused digital media company, which has just completed a new $10 million funding round. The struggling site, which underwent a major layoff this summer, is shifting focus as it strives for profitability. Mitu will continue creating content for millennial and gen-Z audiences, but it is taking steps to make it easier for brands reach these young Latinos. It also plans to cultivate a second source of…

Hollywood Women Share How to Boost Representation: ‘Diversity Is Not Charity’

“Vida” writer, Tanya Saracho, was once cruelly informed by a network receptionist that she was selected for a show as “the diversity hire” — so recalled mitú president and co-founder Beatriz Acevedo at the Power Women Summit in downtown Los Angeles on Friday.

Saracho immediately approached her agent and moved onto another project within days, Acevedo said.

“I didn’t know that term existed until I talked to Tanya,” Acevedo said of “diversity hire,” a label that evokes imagery of the forced eating of vegetables, rather than something that has the potential to flourish. “The fact that there’s this quota, I know it comes from a good place in people’s hearts… but it’s not charity.”

Acevedo emphasized that diversity is “good business,” which has been reinforced at the box office and in TV Ratings time and again. The “Fast & Furious” franchise is just one example of a thriving franchise based on diverse characters. “Pose” on FX and “Empire” on Fox is another.

But Acevedo and panelists Lionsgate executive vice president Jen Hollingsworth and writer for TV series “Vida” Jenniffer Gómez were also concerned with diversity behind the camera.

Also Read: Emily Ratajkowski Says ‘Feminism Is Great for Everyone, Misogyny Is Bad for Everyone’

Acevedo said women creatives and creatives of color tend to be invisible to Hollywood. “We alway hear about how there’s a problem in Hollywood to find us,” she said. “It’s a big problem, it’s a deep problem, but there’s some hope.”

Women and people of color gaining a seat at the decision-making table in Hollywood was one of the solutions the panelists defined. Gómez said that “Vida” is a show that has an all Latinx writing team and cast. The show also features writers and actors within the LGBTQ community.

Hollingsworth said more women-driven and representative narratives gained more popularity and made the most money within the past year. She said the Queen Latifah-led “Girls Trip” reached beyond the targeted female audience. The 2017 film, Hollingsworth said, was a well-told story that both men and women were able to laugh at.

“At Lionsgate specifically, that [female] audience is a focus for us… it’s a focus on telling female stories,” Hollingsworth said.

Also Read: Zoe Saldana Started Social Activism Because She Felt ‘Ashamed’ of Her ‘Fear’ for Newborn Sons

Another major topic at the panel was the need for mentorship to continue promoting diverse voices in Hollywood storytelling for generations to come. Hollingsworth said it was difficult for her to find a mentor that she could holistically look up to because men dominated the entertainment industry in the past.

“I think my strengths are in being a woman,” Hollingsworth said.

Additionally, Gómez said that she believes mentors have play a big part in making sure that people of color and women continue to have a seat at the table. Even if an up-and-coming woman creative of color doesn’t have the same level of professional experience as a white man — because she hasn’t been given the opportunity as easily — it’s about mentors allowing their mentees to prove themselves.

“You just need to take the risk,” Gómez said.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Anita Hill Vows to Do What the Government Won’t: ‘The Down and Dirty Work of Changing Culture’ (Video)

Alyssa Milano: Voting Is ‘How We Protect Each Other’ (Video)

“Vida” writer, Tanya Saracho, was once cruelly informed by a network receptionist that she was selected for a show as “the diversity hire” — so recalled mitú president and co-founder Beatriz Acevedo at the Power Women Summit in downtown Los Angeles on Friday.

Saracho immediately approached her agent and moved onto another project within days, Acevedo said.

“I didn’t know that term existed until I talked to Tanya,” Acevedo said of “diversity hire,” a label that evokes imagery of the forced eating of vegetables, rather than something that has the potential to flourish. “The fact that there’s this quota, I know it comes from a good place in people’s hearts… but it’s not charity.”

Acevedo emphasized that diversity is “good business,” which has been reinforced at the box office and in TV Ratings time and again. The “Fast & Furious” franchise is just one example of a thriving franchise based on diverse characters. “Pose” on FX and “Empire” on Fox is another.

But Acevedo and panelists Lionsgate executive vice president Jen Hollingsworth and writer for TV series “Vida” Jenniffer Gómez were also concerned with diversity behind the camera.

Acevedo said women creatives and creatives of color tend to be invisible to Hollywood. “We alway hear about how there’s a problem in Hollywood to find us,” she said. “It’s a big problem, it’s a deep problem, but there’s some hope.”

Women and people of color gaining a seat at the decision-making table in Hollywood was one of the solutions the panelists defined. Gómez said that “Vida” is a show that has an all Latinx writing team and cast. The show also features writers and actors within the LGBTQ community.

Hollingsworth said more women-driven and representative narratives gained more popularity and made the most money within the past year. She said the Queen Latifah-led “Girls Trip” reached beyond the targeted female audience. The 2017 film, Hollingsworth said, was a well-told story that both men and women were able to laugh at.

“At Lionsgate specifically, that [female] audience is a focus for us… it’s a focus on telling female stories,” Hollingsworth said.

Another major topic at the panel was the need for mentorship to continue promoting diverse voices in Hollywood storytelling for generations to come. Hollingsworth said it was difficult for her to find a mentor that she could holistically look up to because men dominated the entertainment industry in the past.

“I think my strengths are in being a woman,” Hollingsworth said.

Additionally, Gómez said that she believes mentors have play a big part in making sure that people of color and women continue to have a seat at the table. Even if an up-and-coming woman creative of color doesn’t have the same level of professional experience as a white man — because she hasn’t been given the opportunity as easily — it’s about mentors allowing their mentees to prove themselves.

“You just need to take the risk,” Gómez said.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Anita Hill Vows to Do What the Government Won't: 'The Down and Dirty Work of Changing Culture' (Video)

Alyssa Milano: Voting Is 'How We Protect Each Other' (Video)

Latinx Producers Call on Hollywood to Invest in Diverse Talent, Stars: ‘We Are Part of the Mainstream’

One of the reasons Latinx producers and stars have trouble breaking through to the mainstream is the lack of a mechanism “to identify those superstars and turn them into brands,” says veteran TV executive Rick Rodriguez.

“We have a responsibility as a community to single out those people who are doing exceptional work,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez, who currently serves as chief operating officer and head of content for the Spanish-language subscription service Pongalo, appeared on a panel on Latinx entertainment at TheWrap’s annual tech and media conference TheGrill on Tuesday. Moderated by Fundacion Acevedo president Beatriz Acevedo, the panel also featured BESE co-founder and president Daniel Batista and Campanario Entertainment president Jaime Davila.

“Things are a lot better today in Hollywood than they’ve ever been,” Rodriguez said, citing programs like Starz’s half-hour drama “Vida” and Netflix’s “One Day at a Time” as examples of mainstream series featuring Latinx stars and creators.

Also Read: Innovators List 2018: 12 Hollywood Disrupters, From Kenya Barris to Alyssa Milano to Xumo (Videos)

“The production values, the kind of talent, the exposure we’re getting in this market is much, much better than it’s ever been … but it’s a lot less than we’d like it to be.”

Part of the problem is the “conservatism” of mainstream media executives, said Rodriguez, who has previously served as an executive at Discovery Communications.

“You put on a very different set of lenses when everyday, you’re seeing that the show you’re so passionate about, the subject that you believe in so much didn’t perform,” he said. “There’s definitely a conservatism that occurs when you move into that world.”

Rodriguez also cited the “brain drain” of Latinx talent created by Univision and Telemundo, the country’s two biggest Spanish-language networks.

Also Read: MoviePass Owner Rules Out Bankruptcy, Announces $65 Million in New Funding

“Those huge organizations with thousands of people on staff producing 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he said. “It’s easy to discount their contributions, but because so much talent ends up staying there, it doesn’t contribute to the larger population.”

Davila, however, was quick to point out that the sidelining of Latinx audiences and talent to separate networks and divisions ignores the current reality of the Latinx community, which is primarily made up of U.S.-born individuals.

“Most Latinos in the U.S. don’t watch Univision or Telemundo. You age out of it,” he said. “It’s mostly an immigrant experience.”

Also Read: Showtime’s David Nevins Says TV Spending Could Reach $100 Billion: ‘No Question – It’s an Arms Race’

“You don’t just age out of it, you’re born out of it,” added Batista.

“Hollywood has to recognize that we are part of the mainstream,” said Davila. “We’re not a separate group, you don’t have to send us to a different division.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

The Scene at TheGrill 2018: Will Packer and Patrick Soon-Shiong at TheWrap’s Media Leadership Conference (Photos)

Innovators List 2018: 12 Hollywood Disrupters, From Kenya Barris to Alyssa Milano to Xumo (Videos)

Why eSports Is ‘Growing Like Wildfire,’ From Activision Blizzard to Echo Fox

One of the reasons Latinx producers and stars have trouble breaking through to the mainstream is the lack of a mechanism “to identify those superstars and turn them into brands,” says veteran TV executive Rick Rodriguez.

“We have a responsibility as a community to single out those people who are doing exceptional work,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez, who currently serves as chief operating officer and head of content for the Spanish-language subscription service Pongalo, appeared on a panel on Latinx entertainment at TheWrap’s annual tech and media conference TheGrill on Tuesday. Moderated by Fundacion Acevedo president Beatriz Acevedo, the panel also featured BESE co-founder and president Daniel Batista and Campanario Entertainment president Jaime Davila.

“Things are a lot better today in Hollywood than they’ve ever been,” Rodriguez said, citing programs like Starz’s half-hour drama “Vida” and Netflix’s “One Day at a Time” as examples of mainstream series featuring Latinx stars and creators.

“The production values, the kind of talent, the exposure we’re getting in this market is much, much better than it’s ever been … but it’s a lot less than we’d like it to be.”

Part of the problem is the “conservatism” of mainstream media executives, said Rodriguez, who has previously served as an executive at Discovery Communications.

“You put on a very different set of lenses when everyday, you’re seeing that the show you’re so passionate about, the subject that you believe in so much didn’t perform,” he said. “There’s definitely a conservatism that occurs when you move into that world.”

Rodriguez also cited the “brain drain” of Latinx talent created by Univision and Telemundo, the country’s two biggest Spanish-language networks.

“Those huge organizations with thousands of people on staff producing 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he said. “It’s easy to discount their contributions, but because so much talent ends up staying there, it doesn’t contribute to the larger population.”

Davila, however, was quick to point out that the sidelining of Latinx audiences and talent to separate networks and divisions ignores the current reality of the Latinx community, which is primarily made up of U.S.-born individuals.

“Most Latinos in the U.S. don’t watch Univision or Telemundo. You age out of it,” he said. “It’s mostly an immigrant experience.”

“You don’t just age out of it, you’re born out of it,” added Batista.

“Hollywood has to recognize that we are part of the mainstream,” said Davila. “We’re not a separate group, you don’t have to send us to a different division.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

The Scene at TheGrill 2018: Will Packer and Patrick Soon-Shiong at TheWrap's Media Leadership Conference (Photos)

Innovators List 2018: 12 Hollywood Disrupters, From Kenya Barris to Alyssa Milano to Xumo (Videos)

Why eSports Is 'Growing Like Wildfire,' From Activision Blizzard to Echo Fox

Mitú CEO Herb Scannell, Founder Beatriz Acevedo Exit Amid Restructuring

Mitú, the digital media company with ambitions to project a Latino point of view across multiple platforms, laid off about one-third of its staff yesterday, as it shifts its emphasis from growth to profitability.
The restructuring also saw the departur…

Mitú, the digital media company with ambitions to project a Latino point of view across multiple platforms, laid off about one-third of its staff yesterday, as it shifts its emphasis from growth to profitability. The restructuring also saw the departure of CEO Herb Scannell, a television industry veteran who once ran Nickelodeon and BBC Worldwide North America, and Mitú president and co-founder, Beatriz Acevedo. Scannell, who joined Mitú as CEO last September, sketched…

Mitu Slashes Staff in Massive Reorg; CEO Herb Scannell, Co-Founder Beatriz Acevedo Step Down

Mitu, a digital-media company focused on U.S. Hispanic audiences, has laid off a sizable portion of its employees, while recently hired CEO Herb Scannell and president/co-founder Beatriz Acevedo have stepped down from their roles. Scannell, a TV indust…

Mitu, a digital-media company focused on U.S. Hispanic audiences, has laid off a sizable portion of its employees, while recently hired CEO Herb Scannell and president/co-founder Beatriz Acevedo have stepped down from their roles. Scannell, a TV industry veteran who once ran Nickelodeon and BBC Worldwide North America, joined Mitu in the fall of 2017. […]

WrapWomen Launches Power Women Summit for 1,000 Leaders in Media and Entertainment

AUSTIN, Texas – WrapWomen, the producer of TheWrap’s Power Women breakfast series, will convene a summit of 1,000 women in media and entertainment in November to inspire and empower them across the landscape of their professional careers and personal lives.

Actresses Mira Sorvino and Olivia Wilde along with A&E Networks CEO Nancy Dubuc and #MeToo Movement Founder Tarana Burke are among the speakers who will participate in the first ever Power Women Summit on November 1 & 2, 2018 in Los Angeles.

The Power Women Summit (http://wrapwomen.thewrap.com/) will take place in Los Angeles on November 1 & 2, 2018.

“We seek to connect the leading women of our Power Women Breakfasts nationwide and extend the spirit of achievement and excellence created at those boutique events at a national level,” said TheWrap’s Editor in Chief Sharon Waxman, speaking at the Power Women Breakfast in Austin during SXSW.

The Summit, produced under the auspices of WrapWomen will provide a full day of education, mentorship, workshops and networking to promote women’s leadership in entertainment and media and related professions.

The spirit of 5050by2020 is a driving force in all of the Summit’s programming and messaging.
An advisory board of influential women who represent the many facets of the entertainment and media industries will support the planning and programming of the event. They are:
  • Cathy Shulman, President, Women in Film

  • Stephanie Allain, Founder, Homegrown Pictures

  • DeeDee Myers, EVP, Worldwide Public Affairs, Warner Bros

  • Nina Shaw, Partner, Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka

  • Keleigh Thomas Morgan, Partner, Sunshine Sachs

  • Melissa Silverstein, Founder & Publisher, Women and Hollywood

  • Cindi Leive, former Editor, Glamour

  • Susan Brooks, Founder, Forefront Partners

  • Kelly Bush Novak, CEO, ID

  • Beatriz Acevedo, Founding Partner and President, mitú

A number of non profit industry organizations have come on board to support the Power Women Summit including Women in Film, Women and Hollywood, Time’s Up, We Do It Together and International Women’s Media Foundation.

The Power Women Summit will integrate a significant philanthropic component to raise up women who would benefit from an extended hand.  WrapWomen will donate 10% of net proceeds to Times Up and other significant women-oriented nonprofits.

For more information about the conference including participation, programming or sponsorship please contact events@thewrap.com.

Contact: Kathy Selim
(424) 248 0662
kathy.selim@thewrap.com

 

AUSTIN, Texas – WrapWomen, the producer of TheWrap’s Power Women breakfast series, will convene a summit of 1,000 women in media and entertainment in November to inspire and empower them across the landscape of their professional careers and personal lives.

Actresses Mira Sorvino and Olivia Wilde along with A&E Networks CEO Nancy Dubuc and #MeToo Movement Founder Tarana Burke are among the speakers who will participate in the first ever Power Women Summit on November 1 & 2, 2018 in Los Angeles.

The Power Women Summit (http://wrapwomen.thewrap.com/) will take place in Los Angeles on November 1 & 2, 2018.

“We seek to connect the leading women of our Power Women Breakfasts nationwide and extend the spirit of achievement and excellence created at those boutique events at a national level,” said TheWrap’s Editor in Chief Sharon Waxman, speaking at the Power Women Breakfast in Austin during SXSW.

The Summit, produced under the auspices of WrapWomen will provide a full day of education, mentorship, workshops and networking to promote women’s leadership in entertainment and media and related professions.

The spirit of 5050by2020 is a driving force in all of the Summit’s programming and messaging.
An advisory board of influential women who represent the many facets of the entertainment and media industries will support the planning and programming of the event. They are:
  • Cathy Shulman, President, Women in Film

  • Stephanie Allain, Founder, Homegrown Pictures

  • DeeDee Myers, EVP, Worldwide Public Affairs, Warner Bros

  • Nina Shaw, Partner, Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka

  • Keleigh Thomas Morgan, Partner, Sunshine Sachs

  • Melissa Silverstein, Founder & Publisher, Women and Hollywood

  • Cindi Leive, former Editor, Glamour

  • Susan Brooks, Founder, Forefront Partners

  • Kelly Bush Novak, CEO, ID

  • Beatriz Acevedo, Founding Partner and President, mitú

A number of non profit industry organizations have come on board to support the Power Women Summit including Women in Film, Women and Hollywood, Time’s Up, We Do It Together and International Women’s Media Foundation.

The Power Women Summit will integrate a significant philanthropic component to raise up women who would benefit from an extended hand.  WrapWomen will donate 10% of net proceeds to Times Up and other significant women-oriented nonprofits.

For more information about the conference including participation, programming or sponsorship please contact events@thewrap.com.

Contact: Kathy Selim
(424) 248 0662
kathy.selim@thewrap.com

 

Mitú Hires David Ortiz to Lead New Long-Form Production Team

Mitú — the Latino-influenced digital media company that reaches 100 million viewers in the U.S. each month — is continuing to beef up its roster, announcing today several hires for its new long-form development, production and talent team.

Spearheading the fresh operation will be David Ortiz (not the former baseball player), who will lead mitú’s scripted and unscripted content strategy. Ortiz joins from EndemolShine USA, where he was a senior vice president in charge of scripted and unscripted content. At Endemol he worked on “Pitbull’s New Year’s Eve Special,” which aired on Fox. Ortiz has also been a development exec at Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures, co-developing projects like “Fast & Furious,” and “Role Models.” He’ll report to Beatriz Acevedo, mitú’s President and co-founder.

“I’m excited to join mitú at a time when Latinos are becoming the leading edge in America,” said Ortiz in a statement. “Our insights and ability to attract and mobilize a massive audience has created a demand for us to double down on investments in original series and character IP. Young Latinos want to see their stories being told and mitú is uniquely positioned to become the voice of this generation.”

Also Read: YouTube Red and Mitú Debut Multicultural Rom-Com Web Series ‘Long Distance’

CEO Herb Scannell, who just took the reins in September, hired two more executives to work alongside Ortiz. Ernie Martinez, who worked for a decade as Director of On Air Programming at Disney, joins as VP of Talent Partnerships. And Raul Celaya, who has been head of production at Astronauts Wanted and Studio 71, will become mitú’s SVP of Content Operations and Production.

“Beatriz and I are extremely excited to begin building a robust long-form and scripted content pipeline that solidifies our place as the voice of Latino youth in America,” said Scannell. “The addition of these talented executives to Beatriz’s team is just the first step in that process. Our goal is to bring to life the rich ‘stories of us’ that are not being told by mainstream media today.”

Since 2012, mitú has attracted its young audience with several shows aimed at a multicultural audience. It’s partnered with Snapchat to offer the app’s only Latino-focused Discover channel, and has also launched shows like “Chingo Bling: They Can’t Deport Us All” on Netflix and “What’s Good in Your Hood” on Facebook Watch. Mitú also recently partnered with YouTube Red to create the rom-com “Long Distance.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

John Cena Has Audience in Stitches Before ‘Mad Lib Theater’ Scene Even Starts (Video)

Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, Newt Gingrich Defend Al Franken From Democratic ‘Lynch Mob’

MSNBC Flip-Flops, Rehires Contributor Sam Seder: ‘Sometimes You Just Get One Wrong’

Mitú — the Latino-influenced digital media company that reaches 100 million viewers in the U.S. each month — is continuing to beef up its roster, announcing today several hires for its new long-form development, production and talent team.

Spearheading the fresh operation will be David Ortiz (not the former baseball player), who will lead mitú’s scripted and unscripted content strategy. Ortiz joins from EndemolShine USA, where he was a senior vice president in charge of scripted and unscripted content. At Endemol he worked on “Pitbull’s New Year’s Eve Special,” which aired on Fox. Ortiz has also been a development exec at Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures, co-developing projects like “Fast & Furious,” and “Role Models.” He’ll report to Beatriz Acevedo, mitú’s President and co-founder.

“I’m excited to join mitú at a time when Latinos are becoming the leading edge in America,” said Ortiz in a statement. “Our insights and ability to attract and mobilize a massive audience has created a demand for us to double down on investments in original series and character IP. Young Latinos want to see their stories being told and mitú is uniquely positioned to become the voice of this generation.”

CEO Herb Scannell, who just took the reins in September, hired two more executives to work alongside Ortiz. Ernie Martinez, who worked for a decade as Director of On Air Programming at Disney, joins as VP of Talent Partnerships. And Raul Celaya, who has been head of production at Astronauts Wanted and Studio 71, will become mitú’s SVP of Content Operations and Production.

“Beatriz and I are extremely excited to begin building a robust long-form and scripted content pipeline that solidifies our place as the voice of Latino youth in America,” said Scannell. “The addition of these talented executives to Beatriz’s team is just the first step in that process. Our goal is to bring to life the rich ‘stories of us’ that are not being told by mainstream media today.”

Since 2012, mitú has attracted its young audience with several shows aimed at a multicultural audience. It’s partnered with Snapchat to offer the app’s only Latino-focused Discover channel, and has also launched shows like “Chingo Bling: They Can’t Deport Us All” on Netflix and “What’s Good in Your Hood” on Facebook Watch. Mitú also recently partnered with YouTube Red to create the rom-com “Long Distance.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

John Cena Has Audience in Stitches Before 'Mad Lib Theater' Scene Even Starts (Video)

Fox News' Laura Ingraham, Newt Gingrich Defend Al Franken From Democratic 'Lynch Mob'

MSNBC Flip-Flops, Rehires Contributor Sam Seder: 'Sometimes You Just Get One Wrong'

TheGrill 2017: Diversity Departments ‘Have No Power,’ Mitu Founder Beatriz Acevedo Says

Being sent to network or studio diversity departments is like drawing the dreaded “Go to Jail” card in Monopoly, according to mitú Founding Partner and President Beatriz Acevedo.

“At first, I thought this was my plan,” Acevedo told TheWrap’s Sharon Waxman at TheGrill 2017. “I’m going to incubate digitally, I’m going to show the success. I’m going to go the networks, studios and the CMOs and CEOs of the biggest blue chip brands, and I’ll be great. And that works maybe [25 percent of the time].”

Acevedo, who got her start in the television industry, founded the digital network mitú to serve the audience of young, U.S.-born Latinos that has long being overlooked by larger content providers. She discussed the challenge of bringing diversity and inclusivity to Hollywood on a panel alongside The Blacklist founder Franklin Leonard and Lionsgate Television Group President Sandra Stern.

Also Read: EOne CEO Backs Same-Day Home Release of New Movies: ‘The Concept of Waiting Is Outdated’

Young, multicultural audiences consumer more content than any other group, but Acevedo said it’s still a challenge to get executives to take that audience seriously.

“I speak at some of these conferences, and I give the data,” she said. “And the CEO and COO are always incredibly excited. They say, ‘We need to be in business with you guys, you guys are the demo we’ve been looking for, and we’re going to call you.’ And immediately it’s like winning that card in [Monopoly] where they send you directly to jail. You see their lips moving when they say, ‘We’re going to send you to the multicultural department.’”

Also Read: Paramount Marketing Chief Defends ‘Mother!’ Wide Release: ‘We Wanted It to Go Off Like a Bomb’

“People in the multicultural departments are very nice people,” she said. “But they have no resources. They have no power. They have no say in the organization. They’re in the back, back, back of the building next to the supply closet.”

The problem, the panelists agreed, is not a lack of desire to address the issue in Hollywood, but deeply ingrained that have been baked into the industry from the very beginning. The only solution is new blood. Those executives leading diversity departments need to be leading the entire company.

“They need to sit in the boss’ chair,” Leonard said.

Also Read: Virtual Reality Leaders on What It’ll Take to Bring VR to the Mainstream

“The multicultural audience is actually more than 50 percent and growing, and yet somehow that is the silo that they put you in, separate from the main table,” he said, adding that the idea that catering to that audience is a “niche” pursuit is misguided.

“The reality is there are two choices at this point, if you’re in the big chair,” he explained. “You can either make changes, you respond to the reality of the ways in which the world is changing, or you will basically be in breach of your fiduciary obligation to your company, lose your job or your company, and someone else can replace you. And after that happens, the better off we all are as consumers of content and as a populace.”

Stern noted that Lionsgate does not have a diversity department, but Starz, now a Lionsgate subsidiary, has intentionally courted a culturally diverse group of creators because they saw the changing tide. “There was a decision that was made, a decision that there is a big world out there,” she said.

Also Read: TheGrill 2017: Weather Channel CEO Says Being ‘Preachy’ Won’t Sell Climate Change to Viewers

And with a majority nonwhite audience, that’s not serving a niche interest, it’s good business. “The idea that African-American content is niche because it’s African-American is as silly as me saying that white audience is niche because it’s niche,” Leonard said. “We’re in a post-niche era. Or an all-niche era.”

“Who’s at the top making those decisions, saying, ‘This is good business for us’?” Acevedo said. “There are smart people already thinking about that, and those are the companies that are going to survive and thrive. And for the rest that don’t, there will be some churn.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

TheGrill 2017: Weather Channel CEO Says Being ‘Preachy’ Won’t Sell Climate Change to Viewers

TheGrill 2017: Rich Greenfield Explains Why Disney Is In Trouble

TheGrill 2017: How Multimedia Company Execs Use Data to Sell Products, ‘Mitigate the Risk’

Being sent to network or studio diversity departments is like drawing the dreaded “Go to Jail” card in Monopoly, according to mitú Founding Partner and President Beatriz Acevedo.

“At first, I thought this was my plan,” Acevedo told TheWrap’s Sharon Waxman at TheGrill 2017. “I’m going to incubate digitally, I’m going to show the success. I’m going to go the networks, studios and the CMOs and CEOs of the biggest blue chip brands, and I’ll be great. And that works maybe [25 percent of the time].”

Acevedo, who got her start in the television industry, founded the digital network mitú to serve the audience of young, U.S.-born Latinos that has long being overlooked by larger content providers. She discussed the challenge of bringing diversity and inclusivity to Hollywood on a panel alongside The Blacklist founder Franklin Leonard and Lionsgate Television Group President Sandra Stern.

Young, multicultural audiences consumer more content than any other group, but Acevedo said it’s still a challenge to get executives to take that audience seriously.

“I speak at some of these conferences, and I give the data,” she said. “And the CEO and COO are always incredibly excited. They say, ‘We need to be in business with you guys, you guys are the demo we’ve been looking for, and we’re going to call you.’ And immediately it’s like winning that card in [Monopoly] where they send you directly to jail. You see their lips moving when they say, ‘We’re going to send you to the multicultural department.'”

“People in the multicultural departments are very nice people,” she said. “But they have no resources. They have no power. They have no say in the organization. They’re in the back, back, back of the building next to the supply closet.”

The problem, the panelists agreed, is not a lack of desire to address the issue in Hollywood, but deeply ingrained that have been baked into the industry from the very beginning. The only solution is new blood. Those executives leading diversity departments need to be leading the entire company.

“They need to sit in the boss’ chair,” Leonard said.

“The multicultural audience is actually more than 50 percent and growing, and yet somehow that is the silo that they put you in, separate from the main table,” he said, adding that the idea that catering to that audience is a “niche” pursuit is misguided.

“The reality is there are two choices at this point, if you’re in the big chair,” he explained. “You can either make changes, you respond to the reality of the ways in which the world is changing, or you will basically be in breach of your fiduciary obligation to your company, lose your job or your company, and someone else can replace you. And after that happens, the better off we all are as consumers of content and as a populace.”

Stern noted that Lionsgate does not have a diversity department, but Starz, now a Lionsgate subsidiary, has intentionally courted a culturally diverse group of creators because they saw the changing tide. “There was a decision that was made, a decision that there is a big world out there,” she said.

And with a majority nonwhite audience, that’s not serving a niche interest, it’s good business. “The idea that African-American content is niche because it’s African-American is as silly as me saying that white audience is niche because it’s niche,” Leonard said. “We’re in a post-niche era. Or an all-niche era.”

“Who’s at the top making those decisions, saying, ‘This is good business for us’?” Acevedo said. “There are smart people already thinking about that, and those are the companies that are going to survive and thrive. And for the rest that don’t, there will be some churn.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

TheGrill 2017: Weather Channel CEO Says Being 'Preachy' Won't Sell Climate Change to Viewers

TheGrill 2017: Rich Greenfield Explains Why Disney Is In Trouble

TheGrill 2017: How Multimedia Company Execs Use Data to Sell Products, 'Mitigate the Risk'

TheGrill 2017 Announces More Speakers, Confirms Schedule

TheGrill 2017 announced the complete schedule for the eighth annual leadership conference to take place October 2-3 at the Montage Beverly Hills.

Joining a stellar lineup of previously announced speakers are veteran producer Nina Jacobson, Entertainment One President & CEO Darren Throop, Paramount Futurist Ted Schilowitz and Skydance Interactive President Peter Akemann.

The two-day event is packed with more than 40 speakers over 18 sessions, networking opportunities, two receptions and multiple product presentations.

Also Read: New at TheGrill Day 1! Speakers Announced for Focus on China

Highlights of TheGrill schedule include a block of sessions focused on VR/AR and the outlook on doing business in and with China. There will also be panel discussions tackling the challenges of diversity in the entertainment business, building a next stage media company, the revolution taking place in entertainment marketing and the coming wave of consolidation. A panel of powerhouse producers will also take the stage.

Returning this year is the invitation-only Silicon Beach Roundtable, bringing together leading digital media entrepreneurs, financiers, big media executives exchange ideas, solve problems.

New this year is an invitation-only Independent Producers Roundtable, a forum to tackle the challenges indie producers face across the spectrum of content.

Today’s newly announced speakers join Fox Television Group’s Dana Walden and Gary Newman along with Jason Hirschhorn of REDEF, Sandra Stern of Lionsgate Television, Rich Greenfield of BTIG Research, Michael Bloom of First Look Media, Megan Colligan of Paramount Pictures, Beatriz Acevedo of mitú, Dave Shull of The Weather Channel and more.

Also Read: Fox Television Group CEOs Dana Walden, Gary Newman Join TheGrill 2017 as Featured Speakers

Sponsors supporting the event include Abrams Artists Agency, Cinelytic, Cubic Motion, Entertainment One, Fox, Greenberg Glusker, ICM, Lionsgate, Loeb & Loeb, mitú, NBCUniversal, New Form, Ooyala, Paradigm, pocket.watch, The Weather Channel, Topic, and ZoneTV.

TheGrill leads the conversation on convergence between entertainment, media and technology, bringing together newsmakers to debate the challenges and opportunities facing content in the digital age. Diverse programming anchored by versatile talent and supported by big brands has always been the hallmark of Hollywood.

As technology brings new models to the fore — in production, distribution, display and monetization — TheGrill is a platform for the leaders, the deciders and the disrupters to explore this reconfigured landscape as it continues to transform around us.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Fox Television Group CEOs Dana Walden, Gary Newman Join TheGrill 2017 as Featured Speakers

TheGrill 2017 Welcomes Paramount’s Megan Colligan, Lionsgate’s Sandra Stern and Beatriz Acevedo of Mitu

New at TheGrill Day 1! Speakers Announced for Focus on China

TheGrill Special Event With Kevin Smith: AMC and SundanceTV President Charlie Collier Joins

TheGrill 2017 announced the complete schedule for the eighth annual leadership conference to take place October 2-3 at the Montage Beverly Hills.

Joining a stellar lineup of previously announced speakers are veteran producer Nina Jacobson, Entertainment One President & CEO Darren Throop, Paramount Futurist Ted Schilowitz and Skydance Interactive President Peter Akemann.

The two-day event is packed with more than 40 speakers over 18 sessions, networking opportunities, two receptions and multiple product presentations.

Highlights of TheGrill schedule include a block of sessions focused on VR/AR and the outlook on doing business in and with China. There will also be panel discussions tackling the challenges of diversity in the entertainment business, building a next stage media company, the revolution taking place in entertainment marketing and the coming wave of consolidation. A panel of powerhouse producers will also take the stage.

Returning this year is the invitation-only Silicon Beach Roundtable, bringing together leading digital media entrepreneurs, financiers, big media executives exchange ideas, solve problems.

New this year is an invitation-only Independent Producers Roundtable, a forum to tackle the challenges indie producers face across the spectrum of content.

Today’s newly announced speakers join Fox Television Group’s Dana Walden and Gary Newman along with Jason Hirschhorn of REDEF, Sandra Stern of Lionsgate Television, Rich Greenfield of BTIG Research, Michael Bloom of First Look Media, Megan Colligan of Paramount Pictures, Beatriz Acevedo of mitú, Dave Shull of The Weather Channel and more.

Sponsors supporting the event include Abrams Artists Agency, Cinelytic, Cubic Motion, Entertainment One, Fox, Greenberg Glusker, ICM, Lionsgate, Loeb & Loeb, mitú, NBCUniversal, New Form, Ooyala, Paradigm, pocket.watch, The Weather Channel, Topic, and ZoneTV.

TheGrill leads the conversation on convergence between entertainment, media and technology, bringing together newsmakers to debate the challenges and opportunities facing content in the digital age. Diverse programming anchored by versatile talent and supported by big brands has always been the hallmark of Hollywood.

As technology brings new models to the fore — in production, distribution, display and monetization — TheGrill is a platform for the leaders, the deciders and the disrupters to explore this reconfigured landscape as it continues to transform around us.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Fox Television Group CEOs Dana Walden, Gary Newman Join TheGrill 2017 as Featured Speakers

TheGrill 2017 Welcomes Paramount's Megan Colligan, Lionsgate's Sandra Stern and Beatriz Acevedo of Mitu

New at TheGrill Day 1! Speakers Announced for Focus on China

TheGrill Special Event With Kevin Smith: AMC and SundanceTV President Charlie Collier Joins

Toronto Film Market: Indie Distributors Struggle as Netflix, Amazon Look to Dominate (Again)

Hollywood begins jetting to Toronto this week for glittery premieres and awards-season jockeying — but the indie film market is under siege with fewer traditional players and the ongoing threat of deep-pocketed streaming giants.

This year’s TIFF sees theatrical release companies pivoting from conventional acquisitions (STXfilms), recovering from Sundance failures (Fox Searchlight) or outright disappearing (Broad Green Pictures).

“Audiences are smart, they have content being thrown at them in every direction,” one distribution executive told TheWrap, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “It’s great news for filmmakers, but it’s bad news if you have both a bad movie and bad marketing. A lot of folks are mad and distressed because we can’t fool the customer anymore.”

Also Read: ‘Mudbound’ Trailer: Netflix Enters Oscars Race With Southern Racial Drama

The writing has been on the wall for the independent film economy since 2015, when Netflix showed up at Sundance and started buying completed features to upload for its subscribers. Amazon followed a year later with the theater owners in their pocket, promising full theatrical runs to sweeten the pot before they’d let Amazon Prime Video users watch at will.

The two companies spent big in Sundance this year, with Netflix acquiring titles like Dee Rees’ “Mudbound” ($12.5 million), Marti Noxon’s “To the Bone” ($8 million) and the Toni Collette-Molly Shannon comedy “Fun Mom Dinner” ($5 million).

Amazon, meanwhile, swooped up titles such as “The Big Sick” for $12 million — a success story as it approaches $50 million at the domestic box office — as well as the four-hour Grateful Dead documentary “Long Strange Trip” ($6 million) and Jenny Slate’s ’90s comedy “Landline” (mid-seven figures).

That’s raised the overall price of films on the market — and not all of those bets have paid off.

In fact, some of the fallout has been severe: Broad Green Pictures, run by hedge-fund brothers Gabriel and Daniel Hammond, pulled the plug on their 3-year-old production operation in August. Their plan to partner with the likes of enigmatic filmmaker Terrence Malick for festival titles (“Knight of Cups” and “Song to Song”) then to expand to tentpole films after little more than a year in existence proved to be too ambitious.

Open Road Films, which enjoyed a lengthy victory lap for its 2016 Best Picture winner “Spotlight,” just sold to Tang Media Partners after its joint owners AMC Theatres and Regal Entertainment posted a combined $98 million in losses.

Also Read: TheGrill 2017 Welcomes Paramount’s Megan Colligan, Lionsgate’s Sandra Stern and Beatriz Acevedo of Mitu

“It’s not as devastating as it sounds — those companies pop up every couple of years and drive up film prices,” a top indie sales executive said of the company. “But it‘s not healthy for our business at the end of the day, it‘s diminishing.”

Change is also afoot at STXfilms, where Bob Simmonds’ would-be mini-major will premiere Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut “Molly’s Game” in Toronto — a title acquired at the script stage in Cannes two years ago. These days, STX seems to be banking on movie stars and mid-budget fare like Melissa McCarthy’s dark puppet comedy “The Happytime Murders” and Amy Schumer’s “I Feel Pretty.”

Other indie perennials have a lot more on the line: The Weinstein Company has a pricey Oscar campaign to launch for the Thomas Edison vs. George Westinghouse drama “The Current War,” and made such a fumbling mess of recent releases like Alicia Vikander’s “Tulip Fever” that The Atlantic even covered it. 

Focus Features will likely have an eye out for potential acquisitions, but the Universal shingle has its own ambitious slate slate of original movies to release. That includes awards hopefuls like “Victoria & Abdul” with Judi Dench and Daniel Day-Lewis’ final acting performance this Christmas in an untitled Paul Thomas Anderson film.

Sony Pictures Classics remains a market stalwart, and could easily come away with titles in addition to its rollout for the awards-bait Armie Hammer drama “Call Me By Your Name.”

Also Read: ‘Patti Cake$’ Disappoints While ‘Wind River’ Opens Solid at Indie Box Office

There also may be trepidation for a company like Fox Searchlight, which paid a steep $10 million in Sundance for “Patti Cake$” to stave off streaming competiors — only to see the feel-good hip hop romp about a white teenaged girl in New Jersey who wants a rap career gross just $597,000 in limited release.

“What’s interesting is that there was an audience for ‘Patti Cake$,’ but it was young and urban,” one sales agent said. “There wasn’t even a social media presence for that project. Think of what would that film have done in the hands of Neon or A24?”

Indeed, 5-year-old upstart A24 trotted out “Moonlight” at TIFF last year and it (eventually) won the Best Picture Oscar. The company has a minimal, too-cool-for-school vibe in both its taste and the way it connects to audiences. For the sleepy but well-liked Sundance drama, Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara’s “A Ghost Story,” A24 marketers opened up pop-up boutiques to sell the bed sheets Affleck’s character wore in character as a ghost.

Tim League and Tom Quinn’s Neon, which released its first film last spring, has a similarly sexy brand that keeps sellers believing that streaming is not the Goliath to the limited theatrical David.

Still, both old and new companies in the indie world face challenges pitted against Netflix and Amazon — and their willingness to spend big even without the promise of a payoff at the theatrical box office.

Streaming platforms also offer producers protection against financial loss  — Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos definitively told TheWrap earlier this year that “no one has ever lost money” making a movie with him.

But the streaming giant’s model for features often fails to catch — or hold — public attention. Take this year’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner, “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore,” a quiet crime drama that won raves for star Melanie Lynskey and first-time director Macon Blair. Netflix released the film less than a month after Sundance — and it promptly disappeared from consciousness.

Also Read: Oscar Season Hits Toronto: 25 TIFF Movies With a Lot to Prove

Consumers are trained to follow the linear cycle of theatrical release, including plenty of runway for promotion (yes, even for indies, especially those with big names attached).

“One of the things I think is going to have to happen for those folks to compete is they will need to play to their unique strengths: a theatrical first focus, unique distribution and marketing capabilities and strong talent relationships,” said Matt Thompson, a partner at law firm Sidley Austin who represents indie distributors like Neon.

“They’ve got to get in early with whoever the producer, director, rights holder is on the film, if at all possible before it gets seen by others,” Thompson added.

A veteran distribution exec agreed. “We have to brand our service, make a consumer-facing product and use social media to stay alive,” the exec said. “And the movies have to be better than they use to be.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Dolores’ and ‘Viceroy’s House’ Lead Indie Box Office While ‘Tulip Fever’ Disappoints

Coming-of-Age Drama ‘Beach Rats’ Shines at Indie Box Office

Indie Movie ‘Beach Rats’ Has a #BuryYourGays Problem – But It’s Not Backing Down

Hollywood begins jetting to Toronto this week for glittery premieres and awards-season jockeying — but the indie film market is under siege with fewer traditional players and the ongoing threat of deep-pocketed streaming giants.

This year’s TIFF sees theatrical release companies pivoting from conventional acquisitions (STXfilms), recovering from Sundance failures (Fox Searchlight) or outright disappearing (Broad Green Pictures).

“Audiences are smart, they have content being thrown at them in every direction,” one distribution executive told TheWrap, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “It’s great news for filmmakers, but it’s bad news if you have both a bad movie and bad marketing. A lot of folks are mad and distressed because we can’t fool the customer anymore.”

The writing has been on the wall for the independent film economy since 2015, when Netflix showed up at Sundance and started buying completed features to upload for its subscribers. Amazon followed a year later with the theater owners in their pocket, promising full theatrical runs to sweeten the pot before they’d let Amazon Prime Video users watch at will.

The two companies spent big in Sundance this year, with Netflix acquiring titles like Dee Rees’ “Mudbound” ($12.5 million), Marti Noxon’s “To the Bone” ($8 million) and the Toni Collette-Molly Shannon comedy “Fun Mom Dinner” ($5 million).

Amazon, meanwhile, swooped up titles such as “The Big Sick” for $12 million — a success story as it approaches $50 million at the domestic box office — as well as the four-hour Grateful Dead documentary “Long Strange Trip” ($6 million) and Jenny Slate’s ’90s comedy “Landline” (mid-seven figures).

That’s raised the overall price of films on the market — and not all of those bets have paid off.

In fact, some of the fallout has been severe: Broad Green Pictures, run by hedge-fund brothers Gabriel and Daniel Hammond, pulled the plug on their 3-year-old production operation in August. Their plan to partner with the likes of enigmatic filmmaker Terrence Malick for festival titles (“Knight of Cups” and “Song to Song”) then to expand to tentpole films after little more than a year in existence proved to be too ambitious.

Open Road Films, which enjoyed a lengthy victory lap for its 2016 Best Picture winner “Spotlight,” just sold to Tang Media Partners after its joint owners AMC Theatres and Regal Entertainment posted a combined $98 million in losses.

“It’s not as devastating as it sounds — those companies pop up every couple of years and drive up film prices,” a top indie sales executive said of the company. “But it‘s not healthy for our business at the end of the day, it‘s diminishing.”

Change is also afoot at STXfilms, where Bob Simmonds’ would-be mini-major will premiere Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut “Molly’s Game” in Toronto — a title acquired at the script stage in Cannes two years ago. These days, STX seems to be banking on movie stars and mid-budget fare like Melissa McCarthy’s dark puppet comedy “The Happytime Murders” and Amy Schumer’s “I Feel Pretty.”

Other indie perennials have a lot more on the line: The Weinstein Company has a pricey Oscar campaign to launch for the Thomas Edison vs. George Westinghouse drama “The Current War,” and made such a fumbling mess of recent releases like Alicia Vikander’s “Tulip Fever” that The Atlantic even covered it. 

Focus Features will likely have an eye out for potential acquisitions, but the Universal shingle has its own ambitious slate slate of original movies to release. That includes awards hopefuls like “Victoria & Abdul” with Judi Dench and Daniel Day-Lewis’ final acting performance this Christmas in an untitled Paul Thomas Anderson film.

Sony Pictures Classics remains a market stalwart, and could easily come away with titles in addition to its rollout for the awards-bait Armie Hammer drama “Call Me By Your Name.”

There also may be trepidation for a company like Fox Searchlight, which paid a steep $10 million in Sundance for “Patti Cake$” to stave off streaming competiors — only to see the feel-good hip hop romp about a white teenaged girl in New Jersey who wants a rap career gross just $597,000 in limited release.

“What’s interesting is that there was an audience for ‘Patti Cake$,’ but it was young and urban,” one sales agent said. “There wasn’t even a social media presence for that project. Think of what would that film have done in the hands of Neon or A24?”

Indeed, 5-year-old upstart A24 trotted out “Moonlight” at TIFF last year and it (eventually) won the Best Picture Oscar. The company has a minimal, too-cool-for-school vibe in both its taste and the way it connects to audiences. For the sleepy but well-liked Sundance drama, Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara’s “A Ghost Story,” A24 marketers opened up pop-up boutiques to sell the bed sheets Affleck’s character wore in character as a ghost.

Tim League and Tom Quinn’s Neon, which released its first film last spring, has a similarly sexy brand that keeps sellers believing that streaming is not the Goliath to the limited theatrical David.

Still, both old and new companies in the indie world face challenges pitted against Netflix and Amazon — and their willingness to spend big even without the promise of a payoff at the theatrical box office.

Streaming platforms also offer producers protection against financial loss  — Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos definitively told TheWrap earlier this year that “no one has ever lost money” making a movie with him.

But the streaming giant’s model for features often fails to catch — or hold — public attention. Take this year’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner, “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore,” a quiet crime drama that won raves for star Melanie Lynskey and first-time director Macon Blair. Netflix released the film less than a month after Sundance — and it promptly disappeared from consciousness.

Consumers are trained to follow the linear cycle of theatrical release, including plenty of runway for promotion (yes, even for indies, especially those with big names attached).

“One of the things I think is going to have to happen for those folks to compete is they will need to play to their unique strengths: a theatrical first focus, unique distribution and marketing capabilities and strong talent relationships,” said Matt Thompson, a partner at law firm Sidley Austin who represents indie distributors like Neon.

“They’ve got to get in early with whoever the producer, director, rights holder is on the film, if at all possible before it gets seen by others,” Thompson added.

A veteran distribution exec agreed. “We have to brand our service, make a consumer-facing product and use social media to stay alive,” the exec said. “And the movies have to be better than they use to be.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Dolores' and 'Viceroy's House' Lead Indie Box Office While 'Tulip Fever' Disappoints

Coming-of-Age Drama 'Beach Rats' Shines at Indie Box Office

Indie Movie 'Beach Rats' Has a #BuryYourGays Problem – But It's Not Backing Down

Hollywood Dreamer Has No Idea What’s Next After Trump Kills DACA

Until Tuesday morning, Sandra Perez, a young film student at University of Southern California, had her entire future mapped out.

Perez was headed for Hollywood in the hopes of becoming the next Guillermo del Toro when President Trump announced he was ending DACA, an Obama-era program that shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Perez told TheWrap. “I just have no idea.”

Also Read: Killing DACA Dreams Is Bad for Business, Hollywood Says

Since its inception, DACA has protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation. But on Tuesday Trump ordered an end to the program, calling it an “amnesty-first approach.” Trump has given congress six months to create legislation codifying DACA;f no such legislation is created, he has suggested he will undo DACA with an executive order. Such legislation is unlikely under the Republican-controlled House and Senate, which refused to do so under Obama.

Perez, 28, who is graduating this fall, said the announcement could mean she’d have to return to her native Mexico, a country she hasn’t lived in since she was 13-years-old.

“The plan was to continue writing and look for job in the entertainment industry,” Perez, 28, told TheWrap. “But now I can’t work for anyone.”

Also Read: Silicon Valley Stands Up for DACA, Hollywood Keeps Quiet

Perez, who said she wants to become a writer and director in the movie industry, was hoping to tell immigrant stories after finishing film school. But all that has now been put on hold, until she figures out what to do next.

“I’m mostly frustrated and angry,” she said.

The Hollywood community is bracing for the ripple effects from President Trump’s decision, warning the move to end DACA could have serious ramifications to the entertainment industry as a whole.

Also Read: Cher Gloriously Takes Down DACA Doubter, Promises to House Dreamers

“What Trump is doing is not only immoral and cruel, it’s also bad for business,” Santiago Pozo, CEO and Founder of Arenas Entertainment, a media company specializing in marketing to U.S. Latino audiences, told TheWrap. “This is crazy.”

DACA, established ia executive order by the Obama administration in 2012, offers two-year work permits and temporary Social Security numbers to so-called “Dreamers,” immigrants under 30 who were brought to the U.S. before their 16th birthday. In order to get the permit, Dreamers are required to either finish high school (or still be enrolled) and stay out of legal trouble. Since its inception, DACA has protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Pozo, himself a former undocumented immigrant who later became a naturalized U.S. citizen, says he’s the perfect example of why eliminating DACA is detrimental to Hollywood’s economy.

“Arenas has paid millions of dollars in taxes, social security, and has made all kinds of contributions to society,” he said. “This company, started by an undocumented immigrant, has given employment to hundreds of people. Hundreds of families make a living through the jobs that I created. This is repugnant and stupid because it’s going to hurt the economic fiber of America.”

Also Read: Disney Boss Bob Iger on DACA Sunset: ‘Cruel and Misguided’

The end of DACA could also have an effect on Hollywood’s increasingly diverse talent pool, just as the Hispanic community is becoming more visible on TV and film.

“Anything that limits our ability to attract good people who are highly motivated and want to be here hurts us all,” Allen Mayer, head of 42 West’s Strategic Communications Division, told TheWrap.

The decision has baffled leaders of the Latino community, who say it muzzles those were need to hear from the most.

Also Read: Obama Responds to DACA Sunset: ‘This Is About Basic Decency’

“Already media has a huge diversity problem when it comes to connecting with the next generation of storytellers,” Beatriz Acevedo, president and co-founder of Mitú, a Latino-centric online content developer, told TheWrap.. “Dreamers at risk might never be able to have a chance to tell their story and that is a big loss not only for the creative community but for our country as well.”

In the meantime, Perez says she’s trying to figure out how to absorb the news and figure out her next step.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said. “I don’t even know how to feel.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Hollywood, Media and Politicians Blast ‘Coward’ Trump’s DACA Decision

Hispanic Business Leader Resigns From Trump’s Diversity Council After DACA Decision

Trump Administration Announces Decision to Phase Out DACA

Until Tuesday morning, Sandra Perez, a young film student at University of Southern California, had her entire future mapped out.

Perez was headed for Hollywood in the hopes of becoming the next Guillermo del Toro when President Trump announced he was ending DACA, an Obama-era program that shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Perez told TheWrap. “I just have no idea.”

Since its inception, DACA has protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation. But on Tuesday Trump ordered an end to the program, calling it an “amnesty-first approach.” Trump has given congress six months to create legislation codifying DACA;f no such legislation is created, he has suggested he will undo DACA with an executive order. Such legislation is unlikely under the Republican-controlled House and Senate, which refused to do so under Obama.

Perez, 28, who is graduating this fall, said the announcement could mean she’d have to return to her native Mexico, a country she hasn’t lived in since she was 13-years-old.

“The plan was to continue writing and look for job in the entertainment industry,” Perez, 28, told TheWrap. “But now I can’t work for anyone.”

Perez, who said she wants to become a writer and director in the movie industry, was hoping to tell immigrant stories after finishing film school. But all that has now been put on hold, until she figures out what to do next.

“I’m mostly frustrated and angry,” she said.

The Hollywood community is bracing for the ripple effects from President Trump’s decision, warning the move to end DACA could have serious ramifications to the entertainment industry as a whole.

“What Trump is doing is not only immoral and cruel, it’s also bad for business,” Santiago Pozo, CEO and Founder of Arenas Entertainment, a media company specializing in marketing to U.S. Latino audiences, told TheWrap. “This is crazy.”

DACA, established ia executive order by the Obama administration in 2012, offers two-year work permits and temporary Social Security numbers to so-called “Dreamers,” immigrants under 30 who were brought to the U.S. before their 16th birthday. In order to get the permit, Dreamers are required to either finish high school (or still be enrolled) and stay out of legal trouble. Since its inception, DACA has protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Pozo, himself a former undocumented immigrant who later became a naturalized U.S. citizen, says he’s the perfect example of why eliminating DACA is detrimental to Hollywood’s economy.

“Arenas has paid millions of dollars in taxes, social security, and has made all kinds of contributions to society,” he said. “This company, started by an undocumented immigrant, has given employment to hundreds of people. Hundreds of families make a living through the jobs that I created. This is repugnant and stupid because it’s going to hurt the economic fiber of America.”

The end of DACA could also have an effect on Hollywood’s increasingly diverse talent pool, just as the Hispanic community is becoming more visible on TV and film.

“Anything that limits our ability to attract good people who are highly motivated and want to be here hurts us all,” Allen Mayer, head of 42 West’s Strategic Communications Division, told TheWrap.

The decision has baffled leaders of the Latino community, who say it muzzles those were need to hear from the most.

“Already media has a huge diversity problem when it comes to connecting with the next generation of storytellers,” Beatriz Acevedo, president and co-founder of Mitú, a Latino-centric online content developer, told TheWrap.. “Dreamers at risk might never be able to have a chance to tell their story and that is a big loss not only for the creative community but for our country as well.”

In the meantime, Perez says she’s trying to figure out how to absorb the news and figure out her next step.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said. “I don’t even know how to feel.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Hollywood, Media and Politicians Blast 'Coward' Trump's DACA Decision

Hispanic Business Leader Resigns From Trump's Diversity Council After DACA Decision

Trump Administration Announces Decision to Phase Out DACA

TheWrap’s First BE Conference Partners with LinkedIn For Millennial Women Lounge During SXSW

TheWrap’s first conference for millennial women, “The BE Conference” partners with sponsor LinkedIn to create a networking lounge for millennial women during SXSW.  Attendees will have the opportunity to be mentored by LinkedIn experts, receive on-site profile feedback, take updated headshots’ and more, all while enjoying a mimosa filled networking experience.

Also: Check out the schedule below for all the details!

The LinkedIn Dream Lounge:

Profile Headshots: Did you know that profiles with a profile picture are viewed 21x more by recruiters, than those without? If you’re in need of a professional headshot or it’s just time for an update, we’ll have photographers on site to assist you.

Profile Consultations: Ever wonder if you are putting your best professional foot forward on LinkedIn? Our profile ambassadors are available to help you polish up your profile whether it’s writing a new summary, editing past job descriptions, or thinking of a great headline.

Mentorship Meetups: Along with AM coffee and charging stations, the Future is Bright Bar is a place to have a conversation with our LinkedIn mentors during the morning and afternoon breaks, on topics such as your career path and some of the challenges women face in the workplace today. …And more! That’s right. It’s all happening at the LinkedIn Lounge.

Ready to BE Inspired, Challenged and Connected? And get your ticket here today!

Get ready for the BE schedule.

Sunday, March 12th
Get registered, get settled, get started and get connected. Check-in and grab a cocktail.

Monday, March 13th
Get ready for day full of inspiration, success stories, mentoring, learning, connecting, networking, building, empowering and celebrating.

Morning Session: 9 am – 10:45 am

We Got Next. (The Future is Female): Sharon Waxman.

Taking It To The Next Level (Careers, Phase II): Shannon Stubo, CMO, LinkedIn; Wendy Sachs, Author and Media Strategist.

Capital: Raise It, Manage It, Spend It: Co-founders, WERK Annie Dean, Anna Auerbach; Jesse Draper, Founder, Halogen Ventures; Susan Lyne, BBG Ventures.

How I Broke the Mold: Charting an Unconventional Career Path Mountaineer, Melissa Arnot; Andrea Razzaghi, Deputy Director of Astrophysics at NASA; Cindy Whitehead, CEO, The Pink Ceiling.
Networking Break: 10:45 – 11:15 am

In the Networking Nook
Entrepreneurship: Meet the founder of Megpies, Meghan Ritchie.

Mentorship: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Meet with mentors to converse and connect on finding a career path, personal finances, work/life balance, entrepreneurship, business ideas, raising capital, running a business, hiring and firing or other workplace issues.

Networking Lunch: 12:45 pm- 1:45 pm
Lunch with like minds. Dine and discuss a variety of timely topics.

Mastermind Sessions: 2 pm – 3:15 pm

Soft Skills: Burnishing the Resume, Interview Skills, and more Blair Decembrele, LinkedIn.

Making the Ask: Equal Pay and the Real Deal about Negotiating for What You Deserve Sarah Avins, NY Presbyterian Hospital.

The Architecture of Confidence: Shelley Zalis, Girls Lounge.

In the Boardroom: Facilitating and Promoting Diversity and Progress

Networking Break: 3:15 pm – 3:45 pm

In the Networking Nook
Balance: BE-ing@Work. Talk with Heidi Forbes ?-ste about balancing your digital life.

Afternoon Session: 4 pm- 5:45 pm

Entrepreneurship 101: Beatriz Acevedo, founder, Mitu Network; Lisa Stone, founder, BlogHer

Hollywood Agents Get the Best Swag: Paradigm agents.

About that First Amendment: Soledad O’Brien, TV journalist; Julia Ioffe, The Atlantic.

Activism and My Career: Wendy Davis, Words not Deeds; Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood.

Finding Your Give: Luvvie Ajayi, author; Meredith Walker, cofounder, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls; Jane Mosbacher Morris, founder, To The Market.

Party: 6 pm- 8:00 pm
Happy hour of cocktails and music

Buy your ticket here today before they sell out!

TheWrap’s first conference for millennial women, “The BE Conference” partners with sponsor LinkedIn to create a networking lounge for millennial women during SXSW.  Attendees will have the opportunity to be mentored by LinkedIn experts, receive on-site profile feedback, take updated headshots’ and more, all while enjoying a mimosa filled networking experience.

Also: Check out the schedule below for all the details!

The LinkedIn Dream Lounge:

Profile Headshots: Did you know that profiles with a profile picture are viewed 21x more by recruiters, than those without? If you’re in need of a professional headshot or it’s just time for an update, we’ll have photographers on site to assist you.

Profile Consultations: Ever wonder if you are putting your best professional foot forward on LinkedIn? Our profile ambassadors are available to help you polish up your profile whether it’s writing a new summary, editing past job descriptions, or thinking of a great headline.

Mentorship Meetups: Along with AM coffee and charging stations, the Future is Bright Bar is a place to have a conversation with our LinkedIn mentors during the morning and afternoon breaks, on topics such as your career path and some of the challenges women face in the workplace today. …And more! That’s right. It’s all happening at the LinkedIn Lounge.

Ready to BE Inspired, Challenged and Connected? And get your ticket here today!

Get ready for the BE schedule.

Sunday, March 12th
Get registered, get settled, get started and get connected. Check-in and grab a cocktail.

Monday, March 13th
Get ready for day full of inspiration, success stories, mentoring, learning, connecting, networking, building, empowering and celebrating.

Morning Session: 9 am – 10:45 am

We Got Next. (The Future is Female): Sharon Waxman.

Taking It To The Next Level (Careers, Phase II): Shannon Stubo, CMO, LinkedIn; Wendy Sachs, Author and Media Strategist.

Capital: Raise It, Manage It, Spend It: Co-founders, WERK Annie Dean, Anna Auerbach; Jesse Draper, Founder, Halogen Ventures; Susan Lyne, BBG Ventures.

How I Broke the Mold: Charting an Unconventional Career Path Mountaineer, Melissa Arnot; Andrea Razzaghi, Deputy Director of Astrophysics at NASA; Cindy Whitehead, CEO, The Pink Ceiling.
Networking Break: 10:45 – 11:15 am

In the Networking Nook
Entrepreneurship: Meet the founder of Megpies, Meghan Ritchie.

Mentorship: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Meet with mentors to converse and connect on finding a career path, personal finances, work/life balance, entrepreneurship, business ideas, raising capital, running a business, hiring and firing or other workplace issues.

Networking Lunch: 12:45 pm- 1:45 pm
Lunch with like minds. Dine and discuss a variety of timely topics.

Mastermind Sessions: 2 pm – 3:15 pm

Soft Skills: Burnishing the Resume, Interview Skills, and more Blair Decembrele, LinkedIn.

Making the Ask: Equal Pay and the Real Deal about Negotiating for What You Deserve Sarah Avins, NY Presbyterian Hospital.

The Architecture of Confidence: Shelley Zalis, Girls Lounge.

In the Boardroom: Facilitating and Promoting Diversity and Progress

Networking Break: 3:15 pm – 3:45 pm

In the Networking Nook
Balance: BE-ing@Work. Talk with Heidi Forbes ?-ste about balancing your digital life.

Afternoon Session: 4 pm- 5:45 pm

Entrepreneurship 101: Beatriz Acevedo, founder, Mitu Network; Lisa Stone, founder, BlogHer

Hollywood Agents Get the Best Swag: Paradigm agents.

About that First Amendment: Soledad O’Brien, TV journalist; Julia Ioffe, The Atlantic.

Activism and My Career: Wendy Davis, Words not Deeds; Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood.

Finding Your Give: Luvvie Ajayi, author; Meredith Walker, cofounder, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls; Jane Mosbacher Morris, founder, To The Market.

Party: 6 pm- 8:00 pm
Happy hour of cocktails and music

Buy your ticket here today before they sell out!

BE in Austin with our Speakers and Mentors! Register Now to #BeInAustin!

There are more reasons than ever to BE in Austin on March 12-13 – Meet our Speakers and Mentors! 
Influential women in Media, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship and Technology will gather together in one spot for networking, mentorship and ideas. And you won’t want to miss this.

Who else will BE in Austin?

Have you seen the updated Be Speakers Page and BE schedule? It’s filling up with a variety of discussions from female leaders in entertainment, science, politics, media and business on how they are pushing boundaries, creating innovations, breaking the mold and changing the game. For starters….

Melissa Arnot
Mountaineer and Eddie Bauer guide who has stood on the top of many of the worlds most stunning peaks while assisting clients and pushing her own goals. She has stood atop the summit of Mount Everest 7 times, more than any other non-Sherpa woman.

Andrea Razzaghi
Astrophysicist who is Deputy Director of Astrophysics at NASA in the Astrophysics Division of the NASA Science Mission Directorate. She oversees the Agency’s research programs and missions necessary to discover how the Universe works and to explore how the Universe began.

Shannon Stubo Brayton
Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications at LinkedIn. Shannon served as Senior Director of Corporate Communications at OpenTable from 2008 to 2010, and seven years at eBay, where she was Vice President of Corporate Communications.

Wendy Davis
Lawyer and Democratic politician who represented District 10 in the Texas Senate from 2009 to 2015. Wendy’s public service career spans 3 decades, serving as a Fort Worth city councilperson for 9 years prior to her election to the Texas State Senate.

Luvvie Ajayi
New York Times best-selling author, speaker and digital strategist and activist. She was voted Influencer of the Year at the 2016 Iris Awards and is a past winner of the Women’s Media Center’s Social Media Award for using her voice and humor for pop culture critique and gender and racial justice

Beatriz Acevedo
Founding Partner + President at mitú, the most influential digital media brand for Latino Millennials. She’s passionate about empowering Latino youth to become entrepreneurs.

And we are just getting started.
Watch for more announcements weekly.
You won’t want to miss this.

Ready to meet some more mentors? 

The whole BE experience is built around mentor matching, mentor meetings, mentor mastermind sessions and reverse mentorship opportunities.

There are many reasons influencers come to BE Conferences…to network, to mentor, to learn new skills, to launch new projects or products. And to BE with like minds. Check it.

Meet some more of our mentors.

There are more reasons than ever to BE in Austin on March 12-13 – Meet our Speakers and Mentors! 
Influential women in Media, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship and Technology will gather together in one spot for networking, mentorship and ideas. And you won’t want to miss this.

Who else will BE in Austin?

Have you seen the updated Be Speakers Page and BE schedule? It’s filling up with a variety of discussions from female leaders in entertainment, science, politics, media and business on how they are pushing boundaries, creating innovations, breaking the mold and changing the game. For starters….

Melissa Arnot
Mountaineer and Eddie Bauer guide who has stood on the top of many of the worlds most stunning peaks while assisting clients and pushing her own goals. She has stood atop the summit of Mount Everest 7 times, more than any other non-Sherpa woman.

Andrea Razzaghi
Astrophysicist who is Deputy Director of Astrophysics at NASA in the Astrophysics Division of the NASA Science Mission Directorate. She oversees the Agency’s research programs and missions necessary to discover how the Universe works and to explore how the Universe began.

Shannon Stubo Brayton
Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications at LinkedIn. Shannon served as Senior Director of Corporate Communications at OpenTable from 2008 to 2010, and seven years at eBay, where she was Vice President of Corporate Communications.

Wendy Davis
Lawyer and Democratic politician who represented District 10 in the Texas Senate from 2009 to 2015. Wendy’s public service career spans 3 decades, serving as a Fort Worth city councilperson for 9 years prior to her election to the Texas State Senate.

Luvvie Ajayi
New York Times best-selling author, speaker and digital strategist and activist. She was voted Influencer of the Year at the 2016 Iris Awards and is a past winner of the Women’s Media Center’s Social Media Award for using her voice and humor for pop culture critique and gender and racial justice

Beatriz Acevedo
Founding Partner + President at mitú, the most influential digital media brand for Latino Millennials. She’s passionate about empowering Latino youth to become entrepreneurs.

And we are just getting started.
Watch for more announcements weekly.
You won’t want to miss this.

Ready to meet some more mentors? 

The whole BE experience is built around mentor matching, mentor meetings, mentor mastermind sessions and reverse mentorship opportunities.

There are many reasons influencers come to BE Conferences…to network, to mentor, to learn new skills, to launch new projects or products. And to BE with like minds. Check it.

Meet some more of our mentors.