Diversity

FX Pose LGBTQ Charity Donations

Ahead of the June 3 premiere of his new FX series Pose, a dance musical about ball culture in 1980s New York City, writer and producer Ryan Murphy announced he will donate 100% of his profits from the show to trans and LGBTQ charities across the U.S. The series features the largest cast of transgender actors in regular roles in TV history, as well as the largest recurring cast of LGBTQ actors ever for a scripted series. Murphy will spotlight each of the recipient organization on his Twitter account and plans to host fundraiser screenings and other benefits to continue to raise awareness and drive donations. Murphy is also the creator of hit FX series American Horror Story, American Crime Story, and Feud, as well as FOX’s 9-1-1.

“We’ve entered this area of television as advocacy, and I’ve seen the difference you can make in people’s lives by showing up for them, caring for them, and helping them in any way that you can,” Murphy said. “I just decided I need to do more than just make a show for this community. I want to reach out and help this community. My eyes have really been opened to the great work being done in a lot of these organizations, and they need our support.”

Pose follows a suburban New Jersey couple (Evan Peters and Kate Mara) who get swept up in the glamour and intrigue of 1980s New York, including the queer community’s underground house ball culture that was famously captured in the 1990 documentary Paris is Burning. Murphy worked closely with the Half Initiative, which he founded in 2016 to hire more women and minorities behind the camera on his television projects, to assemble more than 100 trans actors and crewmembers to work on the production. Pose also stars five trans women of color as series regulars.

“I believe that if you see a character on television and you love that character, you will consider our character to be your friend, even if you have nothing in common with that person,” Murphy said on the subject of LGBTQ representation on screen. “You look at shows like Glee and Modern Family… I really do believe that television an change the world, and I’ve seen it firsthand.”

Among the organization Murphy identified are the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and the Peter Cicchino Youth Project. SRLP works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and offers legal help with processes such as name changes, IDs, immigration, and more. The Peter Cicchino Youth Project, an initiative of the Urban Justice Center, supports the nearly 40% of New York City’s homeless young people who identify as LGBTQ. The organization provides legal services, advocacy, case management, and community education. Murphy plans to announce more recipient organizations in the coming weeks.

Pose premieres on FX on Sunday, June 3, at 9 PM ET.


LGBTQ Storytelling at Fox

Three television projects from 21st Century Fox businesses took home top honors at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City on May 5, including Twentieth Century Fox Television’s This Is Us, FOX’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and National Geographic’s Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric. The awards recognize media and entertainment for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community, as well as the issues that affect their lives.

"GLAAD is working to ensure the spirit of unity and intersectionality that was celebrated tonight extends throughout the year," GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said. "Tonight's award recipients are the front lines to ensuring that LGBTQ acceptance moves forward in a political and cultural climate that is working against us."

21CF garnered an additional eight nominations for films and television projects from across the business, including Battle of the Sexes and The Shape of Water from Fox Searchlight; American Horror Story: Cult, Feud: Bette and Joan, and Legion from FX; Star from FOX, One Mississippi from FX Productions, and Modern Family from TCFTV. This was the ninth consecutive nomination for Modern Family, as well as the fifth consecutive for Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

"What people see in the media has a powerful impact on how they treat others and the GLAAD Media Awards raise the bar for media to tell LGBTQ stories that accelerate acceptance," Ellis said. "This year's nominees showcase stories that span races, genres, ages, and geographies, challenge misconceptions, and broaden understanding and acceptance of LGBTQ people across the globe."

Amiyah Scott, who plays the trans dancer Cotton on FOX’s drama series Star, co-presented a special award for Detroit Piston’s player and LGBTQ advocate Reggie Bullock. She spoke about her experience as a trans woman of color playing a character that defies stereotypes:

“Lee [Daniels, Star showrunner] is big on authenticity, so he does come to me sometimes and ask me my opinion because I am a trans woman of color,” she said. “Most trans roles are typical and he steps outside of that box and that's what I'm thankful for… Sometimes we are boxed in and our experiences as trans people are often shown as tragic and sad. But sometimes there is love and there is hope. It can be tragic for some, but that's not always the case. And I'm fighting to break that stereotype.”

Learn more about GLAAD and check out a full list of winners from this year’s awards.


Girls Who Code - 21CF Partnership

In line with its commitments to reflect the diversity of its audiences and to support the next generation of creatives and technologists, 21st Century Fox has made a multi-year commitment to back the groundbreaking organization, Girls Who Code (GWC), with financial and in-kind resources.

This support will go toward two significant initiatives: GWC’s new College Loops program, which will drive retention and community among female computer science majors by connecting and engaging Girls Who Code alumni at colleges and universities, and the development of the organization’s international presence. Both efforts will help the organization move closer to its goal of closing the gender gap in technology.

“We’re passionate about encouraging our girls to consider a career in technology and supporting those who’ve made that choice,” said Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. “The generous contribution from 21st Century Fox will help us empower the next generation of female computer science majors to solve problems and drive innovation across industries, including the creative and entertainment space, and communities.”

Paul Cheesbrough, Chief Technology Officer of 21st Century Fox and a longtime supporter of Girls Who Code, recently hosted a Tech Talk with Saujani. Organized by 21CF’s Women in Technology Colleague Network & Resource Group (CNRG), their conversation covered topics including Reshma’s background and the path that led her to found GWC, how the organization is helping companies expand their talent base, the important role film and television can play in closing this gender gap, and how 21CF’s partnership will drive greater impact in 2018. More highlights from this conversation below:

“I’ve long admired the mission and achievements of Girls Who Code and am thrilled that our support will help them deliver their vision,” said Cheesbrough. “Programs such as College Loops, which build confidence and camaraderie amongst tomorrow’s female technology talent, are key to ensuring that girls have the support they need to succeed in computer science. This relationship will be great for our technologists and essential for our business as we work to empower and recruit more women engineers and technologists across all of our brands.”

Stay tuned for more information about 21CF’s work with Girls Who Code as the partnership continues. Learn more about Girls Who Code here and 21CF’s diversity and inclusion work here.


National Geographic "The Race Issue"

National Geographic magazine’s special April 2018 issue will be dedicated to the topic of race and how it defines, separates and unites us. “The Race Issue,” announced today and available in its entirety online now, hits newsstands March 27. It will kick off National Geographic’s “Diversity in America” series for the rest of 2018, which will feature multimedia coverage of racial, ethnic and religious groups in the U.S. and their changing roles in the 21st century.

“This special issue, which we are calling The Race Issue, marks the beginning of a series of stories exploring race and diversity in America – what it is and, perhaps more important, what it isn’t – informed by the latest research, individual experiences and unparalleled visual storytelling that is the hallmark of National Geographic,” said Susan Goldberg, National Geographic magazine Editor-in-Chief and National Geographic Partners Editorial Director, in an internal memo.

The special issue includes an Editor’s Letter from Susan on the history of National Geographic’s coverage of race and the importance of shining a light on the complexities of the human journey. It features “Streets in His Name,” a photographic essay with text by Wendi C. Thomas about streets around the world bearing Martin Luther King Jr.’s name and their representation of his legacy. April 4, 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

The Race Issue also includes:

  • “Skin Deep”: a story by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Kolbert on the roots of scientific racism
  • “What Divides Us”: a story by author David Berreby on our evolutionary roots and psychological tendencies, as well as efforts to overcome bias and avoid societal conflict
  • “The Rising Anxiety of White America”: a story by journalist Michele Norris about the tension in certain U.S. towns and a look at the future of a more diverse population

“It’s my hope that this magazine issue fosters a constructive discussion about race, dispelling myths and helping to move us forward in a positive way,” Susan said.

Read the compelling stories in National Geographic’s special issue on race today. Join the conversation online using the hashtag #IDefineMe. There’s also a discussion guide tied to this issue available for parents and educators.

In April, National Geographic was named a 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist in Explanatory Reporting for its groundbreaking January 2017 single-topic “Gender” issue.

“America Inside Out with Katie Couric,” a six-part weekly documentary series, premieres April 11 on National Geographic.


LGBTQ GLSEN Fox Partnership

In an effort to combat the discrimination and exclusion that so many young people in the LGBTQ community encounter during their high school years, 20th Century Fox Film has announced a partnership with GLSEN to create two new resources for educators and students to discuss sexual identity, coming out, and harassment. The discussion guide and lesson plan are based on the studio’s new film Love, Simon, a heartfelt coming-of-age story about 17-year-old Simon Spier coming out to his family and friends. The movie arrives in theaters in the U.S. on March 16, and the school resources will be available for free download at GLSEN.org.

“Not only have Greg Berlanti and Fox 2000 brought us a moving story about self-discovery, falling in love, and community, but with this partnership, they’re helping students and educators use this story to ensure every student can be themselves,” said Eliza Byard, GLSEN Executive Director. “Even with the recent visibility on marriage equality and the need to protect trans youth, it’s still rare for LGBTQ youth to see themselves reflected in a Hollywood feature film, much less a love story. Thank you, Greg and Fox, for sharing this story with the world, and for supporting inclusive schools for all.”

Set in a suburban high school, Love, Simon follows Spier’s journey toward embracing his identity, even as he deals with the fear of rejection from those he loves, as well as bullying and harassment at school. Berlanti directed the film as an adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, and it stars Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, and Tony Hale. The lesson plan and discussion guides, created by Fox and GLSEN, will be available for free to educators and students across the country.

“When I first read Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker’s script for Love, Simon, I knew I had to make this movie,” Berlanti said. “I identified with Simon’s character, and I hoped we could make a movie that millions of LGBTQ youth could identify with, too. I’m thrilled to know that this partnership with GLSEN will ensure Love, Simon is a resource for creating safe and inclusive schools where every student can live fully and authentically.”

21CF has consistently sought opportunities to use its films and television programming as educational resources where possible. Recently, the company partnered with the Women’s Sports Foundation, founded by Billie Jean King, to create a school discussion guide based on Fox Searchlight’s 2017 film Battle of the Sexes, covering sexual identity and the feminist movement. Fox Home Entertainment partnered with the nonprofit Journeys in Film to create a curriculum guide for Hidden Figures, which tells the story of three African American female mathematicians during the Space Race of the 1960s.

Learn more about Fox’s latest partnership with GLSEN.