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Sundance Film Festival neglects to stipend several of their approved minority media journalists

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Sundance Film Festival neglects to stipend several of their approved minority media journalists

Sundance has yet to respond

Sundance Film Festival neglects to stipend several of their approved minority media journalists

Minority media professionals took to Twitter to express their frustrations.

It was the thought that counts, right?

Most film and TV critics are white. The majority of the time there is a need for an entertainment writer or pop culture/film critic the person presented is usually white and male. If you don’t believe me, just take a gander at most awards shows. Journalists of diverse backgrounds are needed as critics to examine and critique various forms of media and art because without marginalized representation, you don’t evolve and you don’t get the opportunity to grow. Hell, that was just me being nice. Do you know what I really mean? White men can’t be the only ones taking lead and critiquing what is good and bad in pop culture. What white men like, I generally have no interest in. And, if creatives are only listening to white men, they will continue to make art and entertainment based on their feedback, which is usually boring as hell.

Earlier this month, Sundance Film Festival released a press release that laid out their plan to include more freelance minority and underrepresented writers as part of their confirmed media. The press released also stated not only were they attempting to embrace more underrepresented writers it also claimed they will be offering stipends to accepted media professionals. For those that are unaware, Sundance Film Festival is approximately a week so you would need housing, transportation and food to sustain you while you are working. Ideally, this would be great for emerging and established bloggers and journalists who want an opportunity to cover press for such a notable entertainment event. It’s like Comic-Con for film and TV critics.

Per Sundance, “Recognizing that quantitative matters alone aren’t a complete solution, Sundance Institute is deepening the qualitative experience for press at Festival, ensuring that new applicants, who may be covering the Festival for the first time, can best navigate accreditation, attendance and reporting. The Institute is providing grants to defray travel and lodging costs for freelance critics and journalists, with support from Critical Minded, Netflix, Open Society Foundations, and Rotten Tomatoes.”

Many freelancers applying and some were approved. When the critics got approved, they started making plans to travel to Park City, Utah. Traveling to cover festivals can be extremely expensive. Unless a mainstream media was covering your expenses and you receive a steady check, putting up a couple of grand during the holiday season is a sacrifice for a lot of folks.

Black critics took to Twitter to explain that they’ve been denied their stipend as promised. Many created GoFund Me’s because of the urgency of this setback. Fortunately, several were able to get funded via retweets and signal boosting.

Twitter users were trying to determine what Black approved press-member received their stipend. At this current time, no one has spoken up.

Some users believe that only white women received stipends. Sundance Film Festival has yet to respond to any of the tweets or complaints.

Update: This Sundance Film Festival is not in New York City, but Park City, Utah.

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Mad ethnic right now...

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