Grady InternViews: Christine Yared

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and your responsibilities.

I work closely with the preschool team to gain insight into the development pipeline. My role as an intern includes assisting the staff with various office duties, shadowing the development staff on projects, observing creative meetings, and gaining exposure to the workflow. Additionally, I provide script coverage, review stories, and learn about pitching.

How will this role guide your future career path?

As someone who aspires to work in children’s media, this role will allow me to get an inside look at the industry and see where I would best fit in.

What about this position has surprised you?

I have been pleasantly surprised by how intentionally Nickelodeon has crafted their internship program. They truly want interns to learn during their time here so that they can succeed in their future careers. A few of the ways the company does this is by organizing meetings where interns can hear from employees in different departments, emphasizing mentorship, and supporting the physical and mental well-being of the interns.

What is the most challenging part of this position?

The most challenging part is not being able to talk about the projects I’m working on!

What lessons will you take back with you to the classroom in the fall?

I will take back the lessons of not selling myself short and being more confident when I express my thoughts and opinions.

What has been your favorite part about your internship so far?

My favorite part has been getting to work and form relationships with all the kind and talented people at Nickelodeon, especially those on the preschool team! 

Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed awarded 2022-2023 Sarah H. Moss Fellowship

Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed, assistant professor in Entertainment and Media Studies, has been named a recipient of a 2022-2023 Sarah H. Moss Fellowship. 

Administered by the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Georgia, the fellowship provides funds for travel and related expenses for tenure-track faculty pursuing advanced scholarship, research and study.

Mohammed’s research project is titled, “Media and Decolonization: Re-righting the Subaltern Histories of Ghana.” With this funding, she plans to travel to several cities in Ghana, including Tamale and Accra, to conduct archival research, ethnographic observations and follow-up interviews to supplement research already done which will become a scholarly book.

Wunpini Mohammed, assistant professor in EMST, teaches Entertainment Media Analysis outside in the Media Garden.
Wunpini Mohammed, assistant professor in EMST, teaches Entertainment Media Analysis outside in the Media Garden. (Photo: Sarah Freeman)

“In this research project, I am interested in examining the silenced histories of media in African communities that have historically been shut out of their own representations,” said Mohammed.

“I am going back to my community in Ghana to learn more about the media cultures of the country to satisfy some of the curiosities I had growing up as a child,” she continued. “I will be examining content on mediums such as radio and TV, focusing on how they have served as a tool for marginalization and a site of resistance within this community.”

Mohammed will be spending time at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation in Accra to sort through their archives and gather data to support the section of her book on technology and media development in Ghana.

Mohammed will also spend time at community gatherings to learn more about community relationships with media at the regional and national level. In Tamale, she will be hosted by the  Department of Communication, Innovation, and Technology of the University for Development Studies. 

“Growing up, I barely saw representations about me and my community in national media. This sparked my interest in media and the politics of media representation,” Mohammed said about what motivated her to pursue this research topic. “These experiences have inspired me to contribute to building knowledge in the field of media so that the people who come after me will have something to build on too.”

Grady InternViews: Jack Casey

Graphic which says Jack Casey, Hometown: Marietta Georgia, Title: Visual journalist, Company: The Oglethorpe Echo, Location: Oglethorpe County, GeorgiaThis is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.

I’m doing an internship through Grady with the Oglethorpe Echo. It’s a newspaper that covers all of Oglethorpe County, a county east of Athens. I’m a visual journalist, so I take photos and videos to go alongside stories, that are both printed in the paper and put on our website.

How will this role guide your future career path?

Somewhere in my career, I really just want to be able to document life around me and create stories from that. With the Echo and the small town stories you find in Oglethorpe County, this internship is perfect for that.

How have the classes you’ve taken at Grady prepared you for this internship?

Even though I am majoring in Entertainment and Media Studies, the sports media program really has prepared me best for this internship. The classes I’ve taken through it so far have taught me skills including how to communicate with sources, how to work with fast-paced deadlines, and then a little bit of camera work here and there. I feel like those classes I’ve taken so far through the sports media certificate have really prepared me the best.

How has this role helped you discover what you are passionate about?

I’ve known for a while – if not forever – that visual journalism and visual media have been my passion. This internship has allowed me to really take that passion of the real world and run with it. The Echo isn’t a newspaper where you’re learning as things go – it’s the real deal. You’re making a paper weekly and uploading articles to the website. As a digital journalist, that’s just music to my ears. I get to see photos and videos that I produce in real works, and it really pays off.

student holds up camera to take photo
Jack’s role as a visual journalist includes taking photos and videos that accompany stories for the Oglethorpe Echo. (Photo:submitted)
What advice would you give to students who are looking to pursue similar opportunities? 

My advice would be to take advantage of whatever opportunities come your way. Apply to things, talk to people and get experience. You’ll find that wherever you end up, you’ll get experience that is maybe a little outside of your comfort zone or something that you didn’t initially sign up to do while you were there – which is a good thing. I’m a visual journalist for the Echo, but I’ve already written an article. It’s that kind of experience – that isn’t what you’re necessarily there to do – that’s actually a good thing, and you’ll benefit from it.

EMST major Abigail Clark earns industry honor

Grady College Entertainment and Media Studies major Abigail Clark was chosen as a multimedia journalist (MMJ) to work at the Broadcast Education Association/National Association of Broadcasters annual convention in Las Vegas, which happened April 23-26, 2022. Clark was one of four students across the United States to be awarded this opportunity. 

Abigail Clark holds a camera on her shoulder.
Abigail Clark, from Dade City, Florida, spent four days reporting on the BEA convention and NAB show. (Photo: submitted)

BEA Student MMJs are a select team of undergraduate and graduate students with the task of reporting on the BEA convention and NAB Show in real time by using and infusing a variety of storytelling methods, including text, audio, video, pictures and graphics (or infographics). Student MMJs are tasked to think outside the box while reporting on the events and bring their unique visual storytelling skills and training to life. 

 “When I was accepted into the program, I screamed with excitement for the opportunity to go to Vegas for work,” said Clark. “I never thought at this stage in life I could say I went on a trip for work-related purposes.”

Student MMJs were selected in a nationwide search by a pool of professionals and educators. Awardees received travel stipends, press passes and full access to the NAB Show Newsroom, while working under the guidance of two faculty advisors. 

Daily assignments introduced student MMJs to different aspects of media, entertainment and technology through a series of interviews and stories that cover sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, award winners and special events. The student-produced content was regularly posted on BEA’s website and through social media. 

Keith Wilson has mentored me and worked with me on all different kinds of facets of production,” said Clark. “Applying what I had learned from him through production basics and cinematography really benefited me in the MMJ Program while on site in Vegas!” 

“I was thankful to those who helped me along the way and to Dr. Hamilton for sharing the opportunity with me and to Dr. Chess for assisting me with the application and sending over a letter of recommendation,” she added. “I am also thankful to the university for all the opportunities I have had and for having the opportunity to represent such a prestigious school in a highly respected convention.” 

Content created by Clark and her fellow MMJs is available on the BEA website.

#ProfilesOfTenacity: Sherry Liang

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study?

The only class I enjoyed in high school was newspaper, so I came into college as an intended-journalism major. I joined The Red & Black within my first month and became an editor the following semester. But I already felt stagnant, which is not a feeling you want as a freshman, so I sought a creative outlet with EMST. I wish I could reassure freshman me that both journalism and EMST would welcome (and continue to welcome) me with open arms — that pursuing both paths would change my life — but I think she already knew.

What are you passionate about?

A lot, sometimes too much. I’m passionate about independent student journalism and innovating the newsroom’s status quo. I’m passionate about people and our emotions — the way we interact and react — and finding the universal in the personal. The entertainment and journalism I grew up with rarely told the stories of my community. I never saw myself in the media industry, so I hope I can play my part in changing that for future generations.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

I hope I’ll remember the everyday moments like mingling with friends between classes, group exercises in cinematography, staying up until 2 a.m. finishing a script, sheltering from a tornado in one of the many windowless first floor classrooms, busting a kneecap open after class (unrelated to the tornado), table reads in Writers’ Room or watching film premieres at Ciné and University 16 … the list goes on. 

I also think back to when we planted seeds for ideas that would shape my college experience — like brainstorming web series concepts in Writers’ Room, pitching an AAJA chapter at UGA to Dr. Lough, the first conversations about the Backlight Student Film Festival, or the beginnings of what would become The Red & Black’s DEI Committee.

Liang served as the editor-in-chief of The Red & Black in spring 2021 (Photo: Taylor Gerlach).
What or who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?

The students, by all means. From day one, I’ve been inspired by everyone’s dedication to each other’s work at The Red & Black, The Industry, in classrooms and on the screen. Members of Writers’ Room, for example, have exceeded every conceivable expectation of mine when I restructured the club. From first-time screenwriters to EMST veterans, everyone’s bonded over these characters and scripts that we’ve created. I’m also beyond impressed by students on the Selection Committee for the Backlight Student Film Festival, who have spent nearly 10 hours across three weeks watching and judging film submissions. This level of commitment and collaboration is a trademark of the students at this college.

As I round out my senior year, I feel like I’ve finally found my place with my people. Graduating and leaving UGA feels bittersweet and pre-nostalgic, but I am mostly relieved that given the volatility of the universe and its infinite possibilities, we all found ourselves here, together, if only for a moment. (Existential thoughts courtesy of Everything, Everywhere All at Once.)

What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

Directing my first short film this semester was one of the most surreal moments of my college career. I’ve written a few scripts, so that part of the process was familiar. But as I watched actors bring the characters I created to life, heard people laugh at these jokes I wrote from my bed at 3 a.m., and witnessed an entire crew devote their many precious hours to execute my story — I felt a type of unbridled joy and gratitude that I had never experienced in a collaborative environment. I’ll chase that feeling and those people for as long as I create. 

(Bonus full-circle moment: The film is about student journalism!)

What are you planning to do after graduation?

Lots of soul-searching, a bit of traveling, and hopefully some revelatory experiences — but first, the Cannes Film Festival.

A behind the scenes look at Liang’s short film directorial debut (Photo: Jaida Green).
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor, mentor or family member?

Coming in as a beginner, I was intimidated by EMST before even setting foot in a classroom. But over the last two years, I’ve never had a professor who expected us to know everything. Professor Evans taught my first screenwriting class, and from day one, he emphasized improvement above all else. Your work doesn’t have to be perfect, it might never be, but you just have to do and improve. I’ve always had some level of performance anxiety, and reminding myself of that philosophy has been liberating. As a chronic procrastinating perfectionist, it’s what motivated me 24 hours before the deadline to write my first TV pilot that became a BEA Festival finalist. It wasn’t a perfect script — one judge’s comments made that very clear — but that’s one script (and an award) more than I had before I started. 

Who is your professional hero?

I have so many. UGA alumnae Kendall Trammell, Elaine Reyes, Samira Jafari, Alex Laughlin and Amanda Mull are just a handful of the journalists who inspire me. Editors at CNN and The Red & Black have shaped my confidence and voice as a journalist. The writer-director in me also looks up to the power-duo of Lulu Wang and Barry Jenkins (who share a dog-child with a hyphenated last name — talk about life goals). 

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I talk to myself a lot, entire conversations. Sometimes I’ll mute my podcast in the car just to hear myself talk … to myself. Most of these answers came from me talking to myself. 

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

My body is actually solar-powered. Give me some sun, a few trees, maybe a sprinkling of fall foliage or spring flowers, and I’m there. I frequent Herty Field or the MLC stone benches for napping, and outside the PAF for a solid four-legged table to do some work. You can also find me gazing off into the sunset at Lake Herrick to inspire an aforementioned revelatory experience … been doing a lot of that lately.



Ph.D. Profile: Farrah Youn-Heil

Growing up with immigrant parents, Aarum (Farrah) Youn-Heil said she feels like television and movies helped raise her. From a young age, it stuck out to Youn-Heil that not everyone she saw on the screen looks like she does. She wondered: “If people saw Asians on TV as outsiders, would they see me like that too?”

It’s that very question that inspired Youn-Heil to seek her Ph.D. from Grady College’s department of Entertainment and Media Studies.

“Pursuing my Ph.D. has provided me an avenue to keep exploring the impact that TV and movies have on people of color,” said Youn-Heil. “Beyond that, I’m curious how we communicate about race interracially and how TV could be a pedagogical tool for difficult racial conversations.”

Graphic indicating Youn-Heil's answers to three questions: Why pursue your Ph.D? Why Grady? and What do you want to do with your degree?

Ultimately, Youn-Heil, who received her master’s in interpersonal communications from UGA in 2020, wants to use her doctoral degree to become a professor and a researcher. She is eager to help facilitate conversations about race and media both inside and outside of the classroom.

 “I hope to be an educator that encourages students to question who and what they see on the screen,” Youn-Heil said. 

As a doctoral student over the past two years, Youn-Heil has conducted interviews with individuals about their experiences with interracial communication apprehension.

“During a time of social distancing and a rise of racial violence, people of color struggle having conversations about race interracially,” she explained. “Personally, I see how it has impacted our mental health as well.”

Throughout her time on campus, Youn-Heil has also prioritized helping those pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees at UGA build their communication skills.

As the communications consultant with the Division of Academic Enhancement’s Presentation Collaboratory, Youn-Heil helps students strengthen their public speaking abilities and overcome communication apprehension. And while working as a graduate assistant for the organization International Student Life last summer, Youn-Heil and her peer ran a workshop series solely for international doctoral students at UGA.

“The workshops were dedicated to building their intercultural communication skills and creating thought-provoking research conference presentations,” explained Youn-Heil. “It was an amazing experience getting to be creative and collaborate with a doctoral student in another discipline! I learned so much!”

Farrah Youn-Heil at the Division of Academic Enhancement’s Presentation Collaboratory on campus.
Youn-Heil at the Division of Academic Enhancement’s Presentation Collaboratory on campus. (Photo: Submitted)

Youn-Heil went on to explain how grateful she has been for her time at Grady, learning from and working with top scholars dedicated to her research.

When asked if she has any advice for someone considering pursuing a Ph.D, Youn-Heil said: “Take advantage of your curiosity, and go for it! I never felt like a school person. But, as a doctoral student, I think of it less as school and more as a time to be an explorer.”

 

 

#ProfilesOfTenacity: Jillian Smalls

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study?

I decided to come to UGA specifically to attend Grady College. Among all the colleges I was interested in, none of them offered a major that was as comprehensive of my interests as the entertainment & media studies major. I grew up writing stories and watching classic movies, so I’ve had a passion for storytelling for as long as I can remember. I loved that the EMST major encompassed so many different aspects of the entertainment industry beyond film production, so I knew Grady would be the place where I could grow and continue to hone my passion for storytelling. 

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?

Tenacity means believing in yourself every step of the way towards achieving a goal. I believe that by having self-confidence, you can transcend the impossible. You can achieve anything you want in life if you believe you can achieve it. 

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

My most memorable Grady experience would have to be when I took my first production class in the fall of 2020. I will never forget making a short film documentary from start to finish during a pandemic. The process was challenging and stressful, but I think it was a valuable experience that taught us the importance of work ethic and perseverance to complete a project under unfavorable circumstances. Our documentary was about an art school student and how the pandemic and online school affected their creative process. It was inspiring seeing the positive impact storytelling can have on a situation like the pandemic. I was also grateful for the time I got to have with my teammates as we bonded over our experiences as college students in a pandemic. 

Headshot of Smalls
Smalls, an EMST major, is also pursuing a marketing degree and the New Media Certificate.
What are you passionate about?

I have a passion for serving others. I am a former site leader for IMPACT and that was probably the most fulfilling experience of my life. However, I believe that service can manifest itself in many ways beyond volunteering. I think storytelling is a form of service in some ways because stories that amplify marginalized voices, for example, are a form of service to audiences. 

What is an example of a time you used your studies and skills in a real-world experience?

Last summer, I was a digital marketing intern for Verint, a customer engagement software company. Even though this was a marketing position, I felt like my storytelling background through EMST is why I stood out from other candidates for the position. During the internship, I was tasked with many projects, but for one of them, I had to write and produce a series of promotional videos for one of their products. I worked in collaboration with animators to write a script and storyboard videos that showcased the features of the software. It was an awesome experience seeing my courses of study work together in the real world. 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor, mentor or family member?

My favorite piece of advice is “stay curious.” It’s a short and vague piece of advice, but that is why I like it. I think it can be applied to pretty much any situation. For me, it means avoiding becoming complacent. I think that in school, work or even relationships we can get too comfortable in a routine. By staying curious and being inquisitive, you will learn new things and open your mind to different points of view. 

What are you planning to do after graduation?
Smalls and a fellow Grady Ambassador checking students in
Smalls, a Grady Ambassador, assists incoming Grady students at the Spring 2022 New Admit Fair.

I will be working full-time at Cox Enterprises in the LEAD Program after graduation. I am excited to bring the skills I acquired from experiences in Grady to LEAD.

What is your favorite app or social media channel and why?

TikTok has been my favorite app lately. I enjoy both music and video, so the way the app fuses the two together is fun and interesting to me. I love that TikTok is showing people the endless possibilities of what they can create with just their smartphone. It’s been inspiring seeing that you don’t need an expensive camera to create successful video projects.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I am a huge foodie. I love cooking or baking new recipes in my free time. I also love trying new restaurants and cuisines. Tlaloc and The World Famous are my favorite places to eat and hang out in Athens.

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

My favorite place on campus is the area outside of the Peabody Archive on the third floor of the Grady building. I love the view of Sanford Stadium and Hooper Street from there. It is the perfect spot to take phone calls and wander around when the weather is nice. I think of it as one of Grady’s hidden gems.

 

EMST’s Matthew Evans workshops TV pilot through prestigious Stowe Story Labs

Matthew Evans, Assistant Professor of Entertainment and Media Studies, recently had the honor of collaborating with some of the finest writers in the country through the Sidewalk Narrative Lab from Stowe Story Labs.

Evans career in screenwriting and active writing projects both guide his teaching content for EMST students. (Photo: Dayne Young)

The lab is typically hosted in conjunction with the Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham, Alabama, though it was a virtual event this year.

“I was honored to be selected by the Stowe Story Labs, which are known for their fantastic workshops, top-notch industry mentors and its network of alumni,” Evans said. “It’s validating to have one’s work selected, and humbling to share it with other writers.”

The four-day program blends presentations, mentorships and discussion to help writers hone their crafts. The Stowe Story Labs requires participants to be invited. Only a few, including Evans, of more than 600 applicants were invited this year.

At the late-August virtual event, Evans presented his writing and received feedback from some other of entertainment’s best minds.

He brought his newly-written sci-fi pilot “Hellas” as a launching point for group brainstorming. It is an original one-hour television show set on Mars in the dystopic near-future.

Evans said the collaboration enhanced his work, especially the process of pitching it to industry mentors in the Sidewalk Narrative Lab.

“When pitching, you really have to strip away all that stuff that doesn’t matter—simply because you have to be so concise,” Evans said. “So, that level of focus was helpful in thinking about my main character, which then led to me rewriting some of the script’s scenes.”

Matthew Evans began teaching at Grady College in 2019.

Many of the broader lectures encouraged techniques that helped shape Evans and his future work, including lessons he plans to incorporate with his students in EMST at Grady College.

In particular, Evans cites expertise from David Pope, a script analyst. Pope encouraged authors to pursue “speaking about the unspoken.”

“Using clips from movies, he had some great examples of subtext—including the use of humor, passive-aggression, and metaphor,” said Evans. “I plan on adding these to my toolbox when teaching.”

A member of the Writers Guild of America, West, Evans’ portfolio already includes scripts written for HBO Films, Cloud Nine Productions at CBS TV, and more. He plans to pitch “Hellas” to executives in Hollywood with hopes of it getting picked up for production.

#ProfilesOfTenacity: Cate de Castro

What or who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?

From the start  of my time at UGA, I was surprised at how many students would go out of their way to help me. In every organization I joined there was always someone who was willing and excited to see me succeed. These individuals inspired me every day through their servant leadership. They reminded me just how important it is to take the time to reflect on those who made an impact in my life. I think at times it’s easy to take for granted the small things people do that make such an impact in other people’s lives. Little things like taking the time to read over a script or giving professional advice really helped to give me confidence and encouragement. I hope to always pay forward the kindness and support shown to me by my peers.

Who is your professional hero?

As an aspiring producer, I really admire Kevin Feige and his ability to establish a longstanding franchise. What stands out the most for me is his ability to work creatively across numerous projects and manage them in a way that enhances each other. I also respect his clear long-term ambitions for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and how they further a larger story without diminishing individual films.

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?

To me, tenacity means pursuing your dreams with determination and perseverance. It means knowing what you want in life and having the courage and drive to reach for it.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

One of my favorite memories from Grady has been coordinating the speed networking event for the Entertainment and Media Studies club, The Industry. It reminded me so much of my freshman year when I was first trying to find my place on campus. The Industry really helped to connect me on campus and get my foot in the door professionally. It surrounded me with other passionate storytellers who went out of their way to encourage and help me develop my passions. Coming back this year, reflecting on how much I’ve grown, and seeing all of the new freshmen who are now in my shoes was extremely rewarding and heartwarming. The Industry has been extremely instrumental during my time at UGA, and as president this year, it means a great deal to me to have so many new and familiar EMST students looking to get involved and find their home on campus.

What are you passionate about?

Filmmaking and storytelling have always played an influential role in my life and have shaped me into the person I am today. There is such power in film to experience the world through someone else, and I am constantly moved by stories’ abilities to shape our identities and perceptions. For me, one of the most beautiful aspects of film is its ability to capture the human experience and express it in a form that can be shared around the world, making us feel like we are part of something bigger than ourselves.

What is your favorite app or social media channel and why?

YouTube is my favorite social media channel. It’s a really great way for creatives to share their work and engage with viewers. It also provides opportunities to learn new skills — it helped me so much when starting photography and filmmaking. I am constantly inspired by everyone’s work and learning new things every day.

What is an example of a time you used your studies and skills in a real-world experience?

This summer, I had the opportunity to work for Manalive Media Group, a startup production company, and found myself frequently pulling from the skills and knowledge I gained from Grady. As an entrepreneurism intern, I managed the Guest Speaker Program, which provided a space for relationship building and constructive conversations with leaders from the worlds of business, finance, media entertainment, government, academia and nonprofit. On the creative side, I collaborated with the film development team to conduct script coverage, develop lookbooks for projects and engage in creative discussions. 

What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

This year I was accepted into UGA’s Blue Key Honor Society, which recognizes students for their scholarship, leadership and service. It was extremely heartwarming to know that I had made a positive impact on my professors, peers and community. My professors and peers have played such a crucial role in developing my passions and professional goals. I am extremely grateful for all that they have invested in me and hope to always continue learning and growing to be the best version of myself.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I love horseback riding and have been riding since I was four years old! I haven’t been able to keep up with it as much in college, but in high school I worked three jobs so I could keep riding because I loved it so much.

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

For the past two years I have spent at Grady, Studio 100 has been a hub for creativity, collaboration and innovation. It has served as a meeting place for me to engage with industry professionals and my peers, fostering a culture of encouragement and servant leadership. To me, Studio 100 represents all the best UGA has to offer and has been the heart of my time at UGA. It demonstrates the passion, commitment and dedication the students and faculty have for their community.

Diverse identities are often lost in translation when movies and television are dubbed for other languages

When movies and television are translated to other languages, LBGT and BIPOC individual characteristics are often lost or reduced, according to research by Laurena Bernabo, assistant professor in entertainment and media studies.

Many characteristics are lost when television programs are translated, according to Bernabo’s research. (Photo: Laurena Bernabo)

To best understand the processes behind dubbing an American television show to other languages, Bernabo made multiple visits to New Art Dub in Mexico. It is the company that dubs many Fox shows. She also interviewed Fox executives in Los Angeles and Brazil. Bernabo focused on the show “Glee,” which is known for featuring characters that identify as LBGT and/or BIPOC, and their community storylines.

“Translation tends to lose a lot of the ways identity is communicated aurally, both through the vocabulary people use to talk about themselves and the tones and speech patterns associated with different groups,” Bernabo said.

In most cases, Bernabo found that executives and dubbing professionals did not have malicious intent when stymieing character traits. Rather, little attention was paid to the talent that executed the dubs and how they performed.

For example, Bernabo found when dubbing studios don’t employ Black voice actors to dub Black characters, those dubbed characters tend to sound like their white counterparts, even when the original actor’s voice is discernably different from white actors’ voices.

Laurena Bernabo

“There are also lots of references to one’s identity, be they Black or gay, that might get lost in translation because they’re deemed offensive, or they utilize references that the dubbed version’s audience won’t understand,” Bernabo said.

In the case of “Glee,” some of the character traits altered in translation included voice tone, pitch, inflection and connection to cultural references.

Bernabo recommends television executives and dubbing companies cultivate and employ voice actors of the same ethnicity to that of the character their voice portrays. Also, when cultural or local references are made in a script that pertain to race, gender or sexuality, Bernabo suggests the voice actor be educated and aware for how that dialogue in a script represents specific culture in the show.

The danger in intentionally or unintentionally scrubbing diverse personality characteristics from television figures is that real people may be less inclined to celebrate individualism.

“A multicultural approach to society tends to celebrate difference and the ways a culture is enriched by virtue of a heterogeneous population,” Bernabo says. “But when characters are dubbed and, due to numerous intersecting factors, made to sound like a more homogenous group, the ways in which characters differ from each other become muted.”

More attentive dubbing can prevent stereotypes from being exacerbated, but also can use character personality to challenge local stereotypes in a particular region.

You can read Bernabo’s published research in its entirety: