EFFIE BROWN SAYS SPEAKING OUT GOT HER BLACK-BALLED: In a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, producer Effie Brown says no one wants to work with her after she argued on-air with Matt Damon about diversity, an exec producer at Project Greenlight. She writes: “I only got paid to make the movie; I never got paid to do the series — ever. That’s exploitative. Sometimes I see it playing when I get on a plane and I haven’t seen a single penny. They treated us secondary even though, unbeknownst to me at the time, the show was built around my experiences. I was the creative producer in charge and yet, I was still viewed as something less than my title, experience and treated as such.” Eventually, she says that Lee Daniels “used his power and his influence to scoop me up and give me a job at his company. He still had to fight to get me on — even the studio didn’t want me; that is the truth. But Lee doubled down. That’s what often needs to happen, you need someone with power and the courage of their convictions to help. That’s what Lee did and so did my allies and Black Twitter — they had my back 1,000 percent.” Five years later, she’s the CEO/Co-Owner of Gamechanger Film and grateful for the opportunity to leverage her power for underrepresented groups.
NEW 2021 SHOWS MORE DIVERSE? The 2020-21 TV season appears to be more diverse, Variety reports. More series feature women and people of color onscreen and behind the scenes, with only ABC and Fox not having people of color in exec producer roles. The mag reports: 13 new series include 27 roles that Variety considers leading roles. Women make up 85.19% of those roles, and people of color make up 40.74%. Breaking that down further, the roles are comprised of 25.92% women of color and 14.81% men of color.
ARTHUR THE KING MOVES: Mark Wahlberg’s Arthur the King has moved to Lionsgate from Paramount, and will enter the Cannes market via Sierra/Affinity, Deadline reports. Wahlberg is teaming up with Contraband and 2 Guns director Baltasar Kormakur again, and is based on the true story told in the 2017 book Arthur: The Dog Who Crossed The Jungle To Find A Home, by Mikael Lindnord, the captain of a Swedish adventure racing team. On a 400-mile race through the jungle in Ecuador, Lindnord met and befriended a wounded stray dog. Wahlberg will play Lindnord.
MISSED CALLS SET: Liam Saint-Pierre is making a documentary, Missed Calls, about 24 hours of life in lockdown in the U.K. For many, lockdown meant silence and no contact with other people. The doc aims to capture their voices via anonymous calls. “We are all social beings, the need to connect with others is at the heart of what it means to be human,” said Saint-Pierre. “Our project aims to connect the nation and give people the power to share their voice. We hope to create a memorable and moving film full of beauty, humor, honesty and hope, which captures the raw emotions and experiences felt throughout this time,” said Saint-Pierre. Phone lines open July 11.