Panel discussion to address diversity issues in media-entertainment industries

A panel discussion hosted by the Department of Entertainment and Media Studies will address issues of diversity in media-entertainment industries. The event takes place at Grady College on April 6, 2017, 2-3:30 p.m. in Studio 100.

In recent years, such issues have come to the forefront. University researchers and federal agencies have conducted numerous studies of these disparities. News stories have shed light on the challenges women and people of color face in the media industries, as well as how these challenges have been successfully addressed. As only one example, the social media campaign #OscarsSoWhite increased awareness over discriminatory hiring practices that had been common place in Hollywood for decades.

The panel will address what it is like to work in the media-entertainment industries as a woman or a person of color.  It will also tackle how Atlanta-based professionals work to address issues of diversity in the workplace and more broadly.

The panel consists of:

— Kate Fortmueller, assistant professor in the Department of Entertainment and Media Studies, who will serve as moderator. Fortmueller’s research addresses labor issues in media industries.

–Susan Moss, who currently is the executive director of the organization Women in Film and Television Atlanta (WIFTA). Moss has nearly twenty years of experience in a wide variety of creative management roles, including marketing for NASCAR, film and video production, and legal experience with Kilpatrick Townsend. An Atlanta native (and Grady grad of 1983), Moss is also a member of the Georgia Production Partnership (GPP) Executive Board, an independent producer and SAG-AFTRA actor.

–Michelle Rubenstein. With more than nineteen years of experience in the television industry, Rubenstein has worked on numerous TV shows and pilots including “Fantasy Island”, “North Shore”, “Raines”, “Suspect”, and “Jericho”.  She was a Producer on Lifetime’s highest rated show, “Army Wives”, and most recently was the transmedia producer on Fox’s hit show, “Empire”.  She also just produced her first virtual reality project for Google.  When she is not in production, she is busy developing one-hour TV dramas and several independent feature films.

— Angela Gomes. An assistant director for numerous television shows, most recently the show “Atlanta”, which has received a Golden Globe award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy and a second Golden Globe award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy. Gomes graduated with a degree from the Grady College in 1993.

Deirdre McDonald. Founding Artistic Director responsible for program content and film screening acquisitions for the BronzeLens Film Festival in Atlanta, GA. She is an eight time Emmy award winning producer, writer and educator with extensive experience in media project conceptualization and implementation with programming that focuses on social and cultural issues shot locally, nationally, and internationally.

Following the panel discussion, there will be time for informal discussion and conversation with the panelists. Light refreshments will be served.

The event is free and open to the campus and general community.

Date: March 31, 2017

Contact:  Kate Fortmueller,