The panel discussed a wide variety of topics such as what made them choose this industry, how they got started and some of the downfalls of the business. Each woman got started in a different field, rather it be radio, stand up or as an intern.
They all agreed that it is imperative that women pay their dues in the male-dominated industry. Cross said it best stating, “Passion should be something that you would do for free.” Sometimes you have to complete unpaid internships before expecting to receive a position in the entertainment industry.
And in paying your dues, engaging in sexual activities with those who are in a higher position of you does not count. The panel made it clear that their are ways to advance without performing acts that go against your morals. Pitts concurred, “Sacrifices have to be made but you have to stand up for something.”
While the panel all agreed on some topics, others, such as the everlasting conversation about the negative images of black women in music videos, rallied a heated debate. Some women, such as Butterfield, Cross, and Diaz, didn’t necessarily defend rap artists but they suggested that people blame the disrespect on the women who allow themselves to be degraded instead of the rappers. They stressed that accountability starts at home and that the women in the videos are grown and chose to appear in such a disrespectful manner. Coles disagreed, mentioning, “It’s important that women stand up for their morals… Those images still get out.”
The panel was uplifiting, inspirational and informative due to the valuable advice given and heartfelt stories told.
To learn more about Butterfield’s non-profit organization WEEN (Women Entertainment Empowerment Network) visit http://www.weenonline.org.
All Photos Taken By Daisa Gainey
Class of 2014
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