MINNEAPOLIS (October 17, 2014) – Today at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), Board of Directors Meeting, President Bob Butler announced that long-time supporter CNN has withdrawn support of NABJ for the 2015 Convention & Career Fair.
NABJ issued a statement last week, “NABJ Concerned About Atmosphere at CNN for African Americans“, in which NABJ expressed concern over the large number of African-American staff members leaving and being fired from the cable news network. Several African-Americans anchors have left the anchor desk or CNN altogether in the past few years.
Following the release CNN contacted NABJ President Bob Butler and informed him the association’s request for support was denied.
Since that time CNN announced a major layoff in which at least five senior managers were laid off. In the past year nearly a dozen African American managers have resigned, been laid off or were terminated.”
“I understand the company has a right to make personnel decisions,” said NABJ President Bob Butler. “There were not that many African American managers at CNN in the first place. These layoffs have hurt our members tremendously. I am severely disappointed that CNN has ended our partnership.”
NABJ was established as an advocacy group in 1975 in Washington, D.C., and is now the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation. It provides career development, educational support and other services to its members worldwide.
“I said it 50 times that we should make this movie and at the end of the day, I had to pay for it…I just thought it was an interesting movie … I can’t speak for why [no one would finance it]. I know a lot of people want to make these big, giant movies and I understand … But I thought this movie is just as valid as those movies. So that’s why I made it” – Kevin Costner during the National Association of Black Journalists Convention Q&A.
Costner signed on to produce the racially-charged independent drama under his Treehouse banner. Once he fully invested himself in the project he was on the hunt for his female lead. “We have some very significant actresses out there that probably could play this role, but Octavia became our first choice and the choice of our director,” Costner explained.
The drama centers on the true story of a grieving widower and attorney, Elliot Anderson (Costner), who’s raising his biracial granddaughter Eloise with his wife. Costner’s wife is tragically killed in a car accident, and the widower struggles to retain custody over the little girl, with her African-American grandmother Rowena (Spencer), who believes the child is black and should be raised by the black side of her family . Check out the trailer below.
The cast is rounded out by Gillian Jacobs, Jennifer Ehle, and Anthony Mackie. Relativity is wrapping a deal to acquire U.S. rights to Black Or White, and the film should be released in time to qualify for the Oscars. It is speculated that Relativity will release the film through its newly formed multicultural division.
What are your thoughts on the difficulties faced by those attempting to tell stories about race issues in America?