Seneca Media Unscripted: Representation in Media Ft. Khaleed Najak
Cultural phenomenons like Black Panther, The Big Sick and Crazy Rich Asians have recently turned Hollywood on its head and redefined the idea of represented on screen. As movie-goers flocked to cinemas to watch these films, it became clear that relatable content and diverse faces were going to be a driving force in the new landscape for all media.
In this episode of Seneca Media Unscripted we take a deep dive into representation in media industries. While this is most talked about as seeing people that represent our experiences on the big screen, we took the time to discuss representation in a number of facets of media including Youtube, Podcasts and Television. We discuss the impact having representation in mainstream media has on individual in minority communities, and how we as professionals in the field can bring about a positive change in the years to come.
Khaleed shares with us how viewing media that represents him evokes emotions that allow him to grow as a person and empathize with the content. “When the person on the screen is relatable to your experience, it makes your experience so much more real. This is the first time I felt empathy for someone on a televisi
on screen like that.” Representation can prevent social alienation, and Khaleed’s points serve well to highlight this.
Afshaan discusses her experience growing up with a lack of representation from an intersectional point of view – how seeing leading women have similar experiences as her in mainstream films created a sense of inclusiveness. She talks about negative representation and how it can impact one’s identity. We also get to hear about her undying love for Hasan Minhaj, and how he changed how her community is perceived in a positive way.
Devin also shared her experiences with representation in media. She took a different perspective, sharing her experience of seeing fewer women in the field of media production. “I remember thinking-‘Where are all the female filmmakers?'” She also shares her experience discovering one of her favourite female YouTubers and what it was like to see representation in that space.
Perhaps one of the most significant takeaways from this episode of Unscripted, is our discussion about how we can play our part in ensuring that this is an ongoing conversation. We talked about how we can foster an environment where people from all walks of life can create mainstream content and share their stories.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. We share our personal stories and experiences and talk about our heroes growing up. Want to hear more? Give our podcast a listen!
If you have opinions on representation, or want to share your experience with representation feel free to reach out and join us on part two of our representation podcast.