To mark International Women’s Day recently, Netflix Head of Global TV Bela Bajaria has announced that the first $5 million of a recently announced Creative Equity Fund will go towards programs that help to nurture, develop and uplift women in the entertainment industry globally.
The fund dedicates $20 million annually over the next five years to setting underrepresented communities up for success in the TV and film industries, as well as bespoke Netflix programs that will help us to identify, train and provide job placement for up-and-coming talent globally, especially Africa.
Sharing her thoughts on the announcement, Kemi Adetiba, who expressed her support for the initiative said that when she first started off in the industry years ago, she was constantly asked about the obstacles she faced as a woman in a male dominated industry.
“First, I always took the time to correct this notion. The filmmaking industry is not a “man’s industry.” It might be ‘male-dominated’ for now, but certainly not an industry for only men. This is also why, I never answer even the revised question.
“I don’t want another potential “Kemi” or a 12 year old Chioma watching the interview on TV, only to see only my highlighted obstacles and limitations in the piece, simply because I am a woman.
“They would not be encouraged to explore positions of interest within the industry, thinking they don’t stand a chance. I’d rather speak on and highlight that they do. While it could be better, they have solid representation within the industry.
“I want them to see that I am HERE, I have a VOICE, and I’m doing my ‘darn thang’ without needing to engage in anything outside my principles, this is why this investment by Netflix couldn’t come at a better time.”
“For a young woman growing up in Nigeria, watching a film at home meant trying to put yourself into a character’s shoes that probably wasn’t relatable and left you wondering why roles played by women truly didn’t depict the woman’s point of view.
“More often Women were typecast into roles that put them in a box as either a wife, a secretary, or a damsel in distress.”