It’s Time to ‘Normalize’ Reproductive Rights, Gun Control Issues on Screen, Annenberg Inclusion Initiative Head Says

TheGrill 2022: USC’s Stacy Smith used an old episode of “Friends” as an example of great issue storytelling

Stacy Smith, founder of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative (AII) at the University of Southern California, said Wednesday that election-cycle issues like reproductive rights, gun violence and gerrymandering are “not part of typical storytelling” in movies in TV – “because women and people of color aren’t behind the camera.”

Smith was speaking with TheWrap Editor-in-Chief and founder Sharon Waxman at the WrapPRO’s Grill event series about the role of Hollywood in the upcoming election year 2024. Waxman kicked off the conversation with a reminder that midterms are three weeks away, giving Smith a segue into how her research demonstrates the influence Hollywood can have.