P&G’s new “Widen The Screen” film invites everyone to challenge expectations and stereotypes
The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) has announced the creation of expansive content creation, talent development and partnership platform that enables and advocates for increased inclusion of Black creators across the advertising, film and television industries.
Titled “Widen The Screen,” it will include new films and initiatives that feature more diverse storytellers, combat bias against all people fueled by misrepresentation, increase investment in Black-owned and operated media and employ more diverse creators in a way that improves their trajectory for long-term success.
The company’s anthem film “Widen The Screen” premiered during the 2021 NAACP Image Awards on Saturday, March 27 with a call to action to portray a more holistic view of Black life – one that is layered, beautiful and dynamic – not one that simply reinforces commonly told stereotypes.
The film, created and produced by a team of largely Black creators in collaboration with Grey, and narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Mahershala Ali, ends with the line “Let’s widen the screen to widen our view” and challenges the expectations viewers have about the characters and stories often played by Black actors – fueled by a limited view of Black Life on screen.
The film helps people learn about how disparities in representation behind the camera lead to misrepresentation of people and communities that fuel bias in real life.
“Whilst we’ve made equality a top priority within P&G and worked with other companies to do the same, we recognise that is just not enough. We have to address the systemic inequalities that exist in our industry, and that’s why ‘Widen The Screen’ is a critically important initiative, not just for P&G, but for the industry,” said Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Procter & Gamble.
“In stepping up and levelling the playing field for Black creators, we will enable change that will benefit all under-represented groups and result in higher quality, more relevant film, television and advertising content that deepens our appreciation of the richness of our society.”
“It is my hope, through this campaign, to encourage image-makers to reveal the fullness of who we are as Black people. We don’t have to be ‘exceptional’ to be respected and valued. Our humanity isn’t dependent upon us being doctors, lawyers, engineers, or famous,” said Kevin Wilson, Jr., Director, Widen the Screen.
“Yes, we are those things, but we also take up many spaces in this world and the love we share should be depicted as well. We are more than the brutality we often see in our depictions in television and film. We are the joy we experience with loved ones and the passion we have for one another.”
Widen The Screen is a significant expansion of prior P&G efforts aimed at increasing the inclusion and representation of people of colour in the advertising industry. Building on this success, Widen the Screen will provide even greater access and opportunity to break into an industry notorious for being difficult to enter, with an immediate focus on Black creators, and a runway for future expansion.
Queen Collective, P&G’s signature multicultural talent development initiative returns for its third year in 2021. A partnership with Queen Latifah, Flavor Unit Entertainment and Tribeca Studios, this effort accelerates gender and racial equality behind the camera by opening doors to the next generation of up-and-coming Black women directors through mentorship, production support, and distribution opportunities.
Two films were produced in each 2019 and 2020, and P&G is doubling production in 2021, greenlighting four documentary-style productions for women filmmakers.
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