tv The Week With Joshua Johnson MSNBC April 24, 2021 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
it's good to be with you. i'm zerlina maxwell. joshua johnson has the weekend off. right now, we're keeping our eye on protests over police violence. demonstrators today are asking, when will this end? >> they didn't have to kill any of them. nobody deserves to die over police officers. >> i'll talk to a former member of president obama's 21st century policing task force. plus, we're expecting a landmark new u.n. climate report to drop any moment. and experts say it will tell us we're focusing on the wrong issue. what would that mean for biden's climate pledge? a young activist who is leading the charge to save the planet will join me live. and tomorrow's oscars set records for diversity, but trust me, they still have a long way
to go. welcome to "the week." this week saw a guilty verdict for one police officer convicted of murdering a black man. but in the next 24 hours, at least six more people died at the hands of police officers. today, protesters took to the streets in cities across america to demand police reform and accountability. in elizabeth city, north carolina, tonight, there's increasing pressure on a local sheriff's office to release body cam footage. andrew brown jr. was fatally shot by an officer during the execution of a search warrant. officials say they hope to release the footage on monday. brown's son spoke at a press conference earlier. >> he left a close and tight
family, with each other every day, talking to each other every day. and we, my brothers, my sisters, we is what drove him as a person. wes what made him better. and now i've got to live every day, my newborn, without even getting a chance to meet him at all. and that's going to hurt me every day. i just want justice. that's it. >> demonstrators also filled the streets of columbus, ohio, today, to protest the fatal police shooting of 16-year-old makiyah bryant. the common thread through all of these protests is not just the demand for accountability, but a demand for change in the way policing is done in america. so where do we begin? earlier this week, attorney general merrick garland announced an investigation into the minneapolis police department. the probe will assess whether the department engages in a, quote, pattern or practice of using excessive force, including during protests.
but will justice department investigations like these lead to fundamental changes in how police departments actually function? does it have any hope of preventing the deaths of more americans like george floyd? for that, we turn to our panel. and i'm very excited for this discussion with brittany packnick cunningham, former member of president obama's 21st century policing task force. also the host of "undistracted," a podcast and an msnbc contributor. rachel palos, a former attorney and professor, and jelani cobb, professor of journalism at columbia university, also an msnbc contributor. okay, professor, i want to start with you. because i think the announcement this week of the doj taking up an investigation into the pattern and practices of the entire minneapolis police department is a significant development. what does an investigation like
this look like and what are the possible outcomes once the doj looks into the history of this police department? >> this is a significant -- i'm sorry, we have two professors. >> oh, i'm sorry. that's professor palos. i was not specific enough. there are two professors on this panel. >> my apologies. no, my apologies as well, to my colleagues. this is a significant step, zerlina, and so, what this says is that the department of justice does not find credible that derek chauvin was merely one bad apple on the minneapolis police force but believes there are systemic problems. these kinds of lawsuits brought under this particular civil rights statute, 14141 look into what you mentioned earlier, patterns or practices. it's very significant that in the announcement, the attorney said that specifically, the department would like to speak
to community members and ascertain more information about how the police, particularly treated protesters, as well as people with mental health issues. and so we know that those will be two areas of focus and that the department is inviting community participation in this suit. so the investigation will begin with the opportunity for all sorts of members of the community to speak with department investigators. and it is likely to end in a consent decree that places the city of minneapolis under a court order to change systemic policies and we already know, based on mayor jacob frye's statements that he welcomes this investigation and is likely to be working hand in gloef with the department on reforming practices, not just dealing with individual personnel. >> so dr. cobb, that's how i'm going to distinguish between the two of you, because lawyers don't get to call themselves
doctors, so dr. cobb, let's talk a little bit about the history. because the doj is looking into patterns and practices, but the history between law enforcement and the black community, that doesn't really have anything to do with the training manual or policies and procedures or patterns and practices. that has to do with how police officers see black people and whether or not they feel fear or see a threat. so how do you fix that problem, when there is an obvious historical connection between to what has happened to black people throughout history in every context. >> sure. and if i could just talk a little bit about minneapolis in order to contextualize this. i spent two weeks in minneapolis talking to people, and to the professor's point, that's absolutely the case. very many of the people who i talked to had their own run-ins with the minneapolis pd and the st. paul pd. and there were disputes of the prosecution's assessment of derek chauvin as a singular
exception to the general good behavior of the npd. now, where this gets into history, if we just stayed with minneapolis, there's a long history of residential segregation, of restrictive covenants that kept african-americans from living in particular neighborhoods of red lining, a kind of northern version of jim crow, which is a documentary on segregation in minnesota. police reviews to enforce this. and this is not simply in minneapolis, there's many metropolises that you can talk about where this is a fundamental relationship, but if you go all the way back to 1935 in 1935 and come all the way up to 2020, with the unrest that we saw after george floyd's death, all of those time frames are just punctuated with incidents of uprisings and social discord, which is generated by police violence directed at african-american communities.
this is a nearly one-to-one correlation there. >> that is important context to understand, as we think about what comes next, because history has a way of educating us. so, brittany, in terms of this conversation, you know, a lot of folks jump to the training piece, as i mentioned. but it feels to me like this is a larger conversation about how to eliminate biases that people have towards black and brown communities on site, because police don't act the same way in the suburbs that they do in communities of color. >> you're absolutely right, zerlina. and i would expand that to say that we're not only having a conversation about bias, we're having a conversation about what the point of policing even is. look, i was one of those people who once upon a time thought that the conversation should be about body cameras or training, but if you do what both of the professors have already done and
you properly contextualize this both in terms of regional history and national history, you're forced to reckon with the simple fact that if someone claims the point of policing in america is public safety, then you are forced to call bs, because the things that actually keep us safe, especially in black, brown, and indigenous communities have been defunded for generations. things like safe housing and good education, living wages and dribble water. gun control and the thing -- and health care, mental health support, the things that actually keep us safe, these things have been defunded for a long time. so when black folks and brown folks and indigenous folks have gotten wise enough to say, defund the police and refund the people, we're shunned and treated like we are radical terrorists, when, in fact, we're saying, if we're truly committed to public service like we say we are, then prove it. use that budget like the moral document it is and actually fund the things that keep us safe.
zerlina, you know as well as i do, the safest communities do not have more police. they have stronger services and stronger communities. that is what we are talking about investing in, both now and in the future. and until that happens, we will continue to experience this incredibly violent groundhog's day over and over again. >> i think it's so important to understand that it's the intention of the police in the first iteration, you know, if it goes back to slave patrols, then, is it going to treat black and brown people as human beings on site? if that institution at its inception did not see black and brown people as human beings? and so i think it's a really important question. dr. cobb, i want to play an exchange from a house hearing this week. it happened on tuesday. congressman val demings of florida and ohio's jim jordan, they had a moment.
let's take a listen. >> i served as a law enforcement officer for 27 years. it's interesting to see my colleagues on the other side of the aisle support the police when it is politically convenient to do so. law enforcement officers risk their lives every day. they deserve better and the american people deserve -- i have the floor, mr. jordan! >> the lady has the floor. >> did i strike a nerve? law enforcement officers -- >> the gentlelady -- >> -- deserve better to be utilized as pawns. and you and your colleagues should be ashamed of yourselves. >> we condemned the violence on january 6th and condemned it last summer, and today we get a lecture about how we haven't been consistent. you've got to be kidding me! >> dr. cobb, i mean, no jacket aside, i feel like you know, part of the reality is post-january 6th is that the skpauld blue lives matter crowd
and conservatives who like to say they are supportive of law enforcement, they were actually attacking law enforcement. so now that we live in this new world, post january 6th, do you get the sense that we can actually have an honest conversation that's not partisan about how to keep everybody safe, as opposed to, you know, act like republicans are pro-police and anybody who is not a republican is not pro-police. because january 6th, i think it ended that lie. >> sure, it was exposed. and still, he said that people had denounced the violence that happened on january 6th, but then turned around and supported the resolutions that had led to that. the idea that there had been some sort of theft of the election and that donald trump should have remained in office. and so, they continued to promote the very things that had resulted in the insurrection and resulted in those however-many hundred plus officers who were injured and people had to go to the hospital, and all of those -- the toll of violence,
the psychological toll, that was imposed upon those people. and so it's been kind of a contradiction that's exposed. the other thing that i think is crucial here and we've known for a long time, what congresswoman demmings pointed out, is that african-american law enforcement has for a long time taken a different stance on these issues. and it's for a long time said that you can't simply enable the worst and most reactionary impulses of law enforcement without producing a kind of racist outcome. and so, what congresswoman demmings said that i think was completely consistent with that, she spent 27 years on the force. he really has no standing to dispute anything that he was saying. >> amen to that. professor palos, in the last minute here, i want to put it back to the chauvin trial and verdict. obviously, we got a guilty verdict this week on all three charges. what can we expect next? what happens with the other officers who were there that day
and were also charged and how does a guilty verdict for derek chauvin impact their trials? >> well, the strategy changed after the judge bifurcated the trials of the three co-defendants from derek chauvin. and so the fact that derek chauvin is convicted now means that those officers are more likely to also face some sort of conviction. i hope that they take a message from this verdict and the swiftness with which it was delivered and spare the witnesses, the victims, the family of mr. floyd another arduous trial. but right now they have a trial date of later this summer in august. as well, mr. chauvin is due to be sentenced by the court in june. we know already that the state will be seeking a higher sentence because of aggravating factors, including the fact that the murder was committed in front of children, that derek chauvin committed this murder in uniform, using the power of his badge, and with other officers
in concert. >> professor rachel palos, thank you so much for joining us on the. brittany and jelani are sticking around. we're going to bring them back in a little bit. coming up, it's the largest investigation in american history. from dating apps to surveillance video, we'll look at how investigators are tracking down hundreds involved in the january 6th insurrection. plus, three straight days of recording breaking cases, record-breaking casing of covid. why the covid crisis in india shows no signs of letting up. but first, richard lui is here with the headlines. good to see you. >> a very good evening to you, zerlina. stories we're watching for this hour, starting next week, pharmacies will stock their shelves with at-home covid tests. no prescription. results come in as little as 15 minutes. public health experts say increasing texts access is critical to beating the virus.
israel launched air strikes on the gaza strip in response to rocket attacks by palestinian militants. at the same time, hundreds of palestinians and israeli police in east jerusalem clashed. the u.n. said it's working to de-escalate tensions there. and tiger woods posted a photo of himself on crutches for the first time since his february car crash. he's currently recovering from serious leg injuries at his home in florida. in this picture, as you can see here, woods standing next to his dog, who he calls his faithful rehab partner, no doubt. more of "the week with joshua johnson" right after a short break. joshua johnson" right after a short break. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ back in black ♪ ♪ i hit the sack ♪ ♪ i've been too long... ♪ applebee's irresist-a-bowls are back. dig in for just $8.99.
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the entire history of the country, both in terms of the number of charges filed and the sheer number of evidence, which includes more than 1,500 hours of video, which is a lot of video. one of those arrests can be credited to a dating app, for real. a new york man used his bumble account to brag about his role in storming the capitol. his would-be date wasn't that impressed, though. first, she typed back, we are not a match, which is so great. then she provided screen shots of their conversation to authorities. the fbi arrested him on thursday. brittany pac-man cunningham and jelani cobb are back with us. this story made me chuckle, because i just can't even imagine a world in which men think participation in the insurrection of the capitol is a way to get a date. but that's the reality we're living in. so brittney, i just want to
start by asking, in all seriousness, actually, the difference in the treatment. because i think post-insurrection, no one can say the police treat black and brown people the same way they treat white people. i think the january 6th insurrection ends that argument. so, speak to how the people who were actually violent but happened to be mostly white were treated kind of like guests in the capitol, you know, removing barricades in some of those videos, obviously, as some of the capitol police were being violently attacked. and black people who were driving around, walking, running, sleeping, they are treated as if they are engaged in criminal behavior. >> that's right, zerlina. i mean, look, first of all, if you're looking at nearly 500 arrestees from january 6th, what that tells us is that the great philosophy nene leakes is correct. even sometimes when you are a white supremacist, sometimes you really cannot win when you are
playing dirty. but if we actually pay close attention to what happened here, much of the evidence came directly from the insurrectionists themselves. because they knew what we know. that so often, this country and its law enforcement agencies do not treat us all equally. they knew that most likely and in most circumstances, they would not actually be held accountable for what amounted to an attempted coup and an attempted takeover of a government building. we have to recognize that in a lot of ways, despite these arrests, they were actually correct, because following the january 6th insurrection, we did not see statehouses across the country create anti-protest bills. we didn't see the national guard coming out in all of these places to try to protect state lawmakers, especially in places where those state lawmakers are black and were pushing against voter suppression bills. no, we saw that anti-protest
legislation sweep across the country as soon as there was an additional increase in the protests of black americans. and folks protesting police violence and racial injustice. so those folks on january 6th knew what we know. that the gop loves to talk about being an originist and to talk about the constitution and to talk about those founding fathers, but they also love to skip over that pesky freedom of assembly. they love to skip over that part of the declaration of independence that declares that when government becomes destructive to the ends of the will of the people, that it is the right of the people to alter or abolish that government and institute a new one. that hypocrisy is killing black folks. it is killing brown folks, it is killing indigenous folks. and anybody, anybody at all who believes in democracy should be fundamentally bothered by this attack on first assessment and freedom of assembly rights, unless, of course, you don't want the descendants of those
who were colonized to actually use these documents to our advantage. let's call this what it is. it is classic white supremacist hypocrisy. that's what we saw on january 6th, and that's what we continue to see across statehouses in this country. >> dr. cobb, i think the point that brittany just made is so critically important. and i want to dial in on it a bit. our founding documents, they didn't apply to black people. they did not apply to women. we had to amend the constitution, many times over. so in this moment in 2021, speak to this idea that we are trying to live up to the promise of those founding documents in terms of being a multi-racial democracy. and the voter suppression and a lot of this energy around making protesting illegal and these bills and statehouses are a reaction to the demographic shifts and the fact that we actually may be a majority
non-white nation by 2045. >> sure. i mean, there's a lot in there, but one thing that i will caution about amending the constitution to achieve democracy is that even the amendment was not sufficient to produce democracy. the 14th amendment was supposed to have created an equal society, equal protection under the law. and thafgs just nullified. the majority opinion of the supreme court instituted segregation. the 15th amendment gave black men the right to vote. and they just murdered us until we couldn't vote anymore. the 19th amendment extended the right to vote to all women, including black women. and they just physically intimidated them. simply that they wouldn't adhere to the original version of the documents.
they didn't adhere to versions of those documents that extended democracy to the rest of the entire population, at least in theory. and so that's part of it. and so to your other point about the demographic anxiety, i think that's exactly what's driving this. when we saw -- and we could even go back to charlottesville. when we saw those mobs chanting, "jews will not replace us" and also chanting, you will not replace us, i've been in many, many activist communities and interviewed people in all sorts of settings and gatherings and large groups of people of color, i've never heard anyone say, our secret plan is to come out and replace all of the white people. this was a kind of societal paranoia that has become a defining force, even driving what trumpism became and the lingering embers of it that continue even now. and can i add one thing to this really quickly.
it's a little bit off-topic, but i want to say something. i'm wearing my howard university sweatshirt today. my black howard university sweatshirt. we lost a beloved classmate to covid this week. and i just want to remind people, particularly people in the african-american community that, you know, get the vaccine if you can and take it seriously. i know we feel like this is winding down, but we're still losing people. and it's really terrible and it's a loss that my whole community, certainly my year at howard, we all are feeling a loss right now. >> i'm so sorry for your loss. and amen to that. everyone should get that vaccine. get whatever one is available. that's the best one. so last minute here, brittany, in terms of where we go from here, we talked earlier in our earlier conversation about the fact that this isn't about training, it's about that bias that police have towards communities of color. but if we can't even protest if the police kill us, what kind of
democracy is that? >> the good news about activists and organizers around this country is that we are creative. and we continue to evade and create around the contours of the laws and regulations that are meant to silence our voices and to suppress our votes. and so we can look to places like ithaca, new york, and the mayor who are trying to figure out how to disband what the police department looks like and create community-based, community-led public safety. we can look at communities that are investing in mental health resources, so that when wellness checks are made, it's not someone with a gun on their hip, but actually someone with the training to support someone in crisis. we can look to organizers in my hometown of st. louis, who are working to close places like the medium security prison in our city that we call the workhouse and to put that money back into the community. so we'll continue to stay organized, we'll continue to be disciplined. the gop and the police are
certainly organized. and we will continue to outfox them at every turn. >> brittany pac-man cunningham and jelani cobb, thank you so much for being here tonight and taking the time out on this saturday night. really important insights and an important conversation. please stay safe. coming up, what should we be focusing on when it comes to fighting climate? a new u.n. report will suggest methane plays a bigger role than we originally thought. i'll talk to 19-year-old activist jamie margolan about biden's climate pledge and how we can help. t biden's climate pledge and how we can hp.el there are many reasons for waiting to visit your doctor right now. but if you're experiencing irregular heartbeat, heart racing, chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue or light-headedness, don't wait to contact your doctor. because these symptoms could be signs of a serious condition like atrial fibrillation. which could make you about five times more likely to have a stroke. your symptoms could mean something serious,
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this is a departure from the global discussion around the issue, which has long focused on reducing carbon dioxide emissions. this comes as a another major study released on wednesday shed light on who is most affected by climate change. while four out of ten americans live in polluted areas, people of color are 61% more likely to live in a country -- county with unhealthy air than white people. one of those calling for pan intersectional approach to climate change is jamie margolan, a 19-year-old climate activist. and she's also the author of "youth to power: your voice and how to use it," and she joins us now. wow, first of all, a book and you're 19. i'm really impressed with that that is very impressive. my first question simply is, with you know, as we look at biden's agenda on climate, as a young activist, do you think that he has the right approach
so far, given the fact that we just went through a two-day climate summit? >> i think there are some things that are being done right, but there are also parts of his approach that need to be stronger. specifically, i hear biden and other world leaders keep harping on, we're going to get to zero emissions by 2050 by 2050, by 2050. and the science says we need to get there by 2030. i don't understand why he and other politicians are inventing this number of zero emissions by 2050, which by that point, it will be too late to take action. so i need it, the youth and anyone who cares about our planet and saving it need our politicians like biden to actually listen to the science, listen to the science in terms of the deadlines. and union square park in new york city, there's a climate countdown clock that says we have a little over six years left to act on the climate crisis before it's too late. and that's not a made-up number.
that comes from the science. the science says and the big massive numbers, counting down ominously, over union square park, say that we have a little over six years left, not to wait, not just to sit here and wait to take climate action, but within the span of six years, completely transform our society to adjust transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy in time for us to make the deadlines and save life on earth. so there's no gray area for survival. and i need politicians like biden to understand that. yes, it's great that he stopped the keystone pipeline. but what about line three? what about the dakota access pipeline. all of these new fossil fuel infrastructure programs that keep getting improved. we need to create a transition before it's too late. also, pride has yet to come out in support of a green new deal, which was just introduced. and a green new deal is a very important first step in order to take climate action. as you said before, a climate
issue intersects with social justice issues and it's a resolution that actually acknowledges that and works to combat it, which is something that is not done often in american climate policy. >> well, that was a very thorough list of things that you feel the biden administration could be more aggressive on and to the piece that you just mentioned about how climate change and racial justice intersect, speak to why it is that the burden of climate change and climate crisis are falling mostly on people of color. the fact that the air, the water, and all of those resources, in communities of color, they're very polluted. and it's very different than in white communities. >> because corporations and governments know bho they can take advantage of because of
historical precedent. the communities that have been disproportionately marginalized for centuries in this country are the communities that they can get away with polluting. you're not going to see a pipeline be built through, i don't know, beverly hills, a rich white community, a majority white community or bel air, any of the wealth -- wealth also has something to do with it. it's the intersection of wealth and racial privileges are the people who feel the least impacts of the climate crisis. and the impacts of race and wealth, not being privileged racially or wealth in this country that decide who feels the worst impacts of the climate crisis. and none of this is accidental. the system is working exactly as it was built to be working. and that's why we have to create a new one. >> last question in the last minute here. you're 19 years old and you've written a book. you've written a book. you're very active on this issue. do you feel like you have to be
can i have on this issue and do you ever wish that grown-ups actually take charge and you could live out your teenage years with normal stuff that 19-year-olds would want to do? >> i've been fighting for climate justice since i was 14 years old and now i'm 19 years old. it's been nothing but nonstop climate action. that's the story for me and so many other young people. and the media keep doing this thing like, oh, the work you're doing is so cute and so impressive, you're going to save the world. i've had politicians who have the power to actually change things tell me and my young people, you're going to save the world, you're going to create climate action. i'm literally in a dorm room. like, i have homework to do after this. right after i get off of this, i have a bunch of assignments that i'm late on. and that is the reality for so many other young activists. so the fact that leaders and corporations and people in power
whose full-time jobs, who are get paid to be able to have the resources to solve this issue have the audacity to tell someone who is a young person, who's stressed, who's dealing with just -- growing up is hard. who's dealing with growing up, who's dealing with adolescence, who's dealing with school and has a lot of homework to do and doesn't have any actual hold on legislative branches or policy or anything like that, telling us, kids, young people, like, you're going to save the world, like, that's on you. it's like they get to hoist it on to us and they think it's a compliment, but it's not a compliment. they need to be taking action and stepping up, because it's not the young people's responsibility. >> yeah. >> we're blowing the whistle, but we need them to act. >> well, that's a really good point. we'll have to leave it there. but that's a message to those folks who are in elected office. you guys have the power. young people are involved in climate because they are going to be here living when many of these dates and deadlines come up. jamie margolan, cofounder and
executive director of zero hour, thank you so much for being here. please stay safe. still ahead, people are praising the oscars for its diversity this year. what does the creator of the oscars so white hashtag think about it? i'll check in with her, live. but first, today, india crossed 16 million covid cases. hospitals in the country are running out of oxygen. we'll dive into what's behind the deadly surge, next. 's behin the deadly surge, next
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as these may be life-threatening, or uncontrollable muscle movements as these may be permanent. these are not all the serious side effects. this is where i want to be. talk to your doctor and ask if latuda could make the difference you've been looking for in your bipolar depression symptoms. india continues to break global records for coronavirus cases for the third consecutive day. today, the country had nearly 347,000 confirmed cases of covid-19 bringing india's total to more than 16 million. faced with a name of new infections, the country is also facing a crippling shortage of
oxygen supplies. authorities are now scrambling to get oxygen tanks to the patients that need them. here's nbc news correspondent, matt bradley. >> yeah, zerlina, the situation in india is bad and getting worse. india is now the second highest number of people in their country who have been infected with covid. they have still about half as much as the u.s., but they're closing the gap very quickly. just today, india set another record for the most covid infections in one day, nearly 350,000 just today. that's breaking yesterday's record, which was also set by india and the day before, which was also set by india. so, this is the third time in as many days that india has been able to make that dubious distinction. the most covid cases in a single day. the hospitals are being overwhelmed, particularly in the very popular stop of maharastra,
where mumbai is located. that's where so many people are getting turned away from hospitals, because the hospitals don't have enough oxygen. and even those who do get into hospitals are denied the basic medication that would allow them not only to be comfortable, but to be survived. the bodies are being wheeled out, crematoriums are flowing over and a lot of people we've spoken to said they've had to go searching in the streets, trying to buy medication like remdesivir on the black market. i spoke with one man who said that one injection now costs him about $1,000. that's as much as he says he earns in one month. this is a very, very bad situation, but yet there is a hindu festival, a huge one that's still going on right around that state and the authorities are still allowing this, and this is part of the problem. a lot of indians are becoming very upset, the fact that their government a couple of months ago seems to have avoided the worst of this global pandemic and now it looks like this second wave, because of complacency, is becoming a
tsunami across india. zerlina? >> nbc's matt bradley, thank you so much for that reporting. coming up, only one film with the black cast was nominated for best picture. so why is this year's event being applauded for diversity? i'll ask the creator of the oscars so white hashtag right after this break. oscars so white hashtag right after this break did you know you can go to libertymutual.com to customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need? really? i didn't-- aah! ok. i'm on vibrate. aaah! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ it's so busted, you can't use this part of the screen. definitely cracked every phone i've owned. (vo) you broke your phone. so verizon broke the rules. for the first time ever, new and current customers can trade in their old and damaged phones for up to $800 off our best 5g phones. my phone is old. very old. old, cracked, water damaged? doesn't matter. i'm ready for something new. now trade up to the 5g network you deserve
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the 93rd academy awards, which takes place sunday night is setting record for diversity. 9 of 20 acting nominees are people of color. the best director category has two women for the first time. on the other hand, only one film with a black cast was nominated for best picture. oscar voters are still mostly white men. joining us to discuss the oscars is april rain, the creator of the oscars so white hashtag. she's also the vp of content strategy at ensemble. you brought attention to the lack of diversity in hollywood with the hashtag #oscarssowhite. how far do you see the academy still needing to go? >> sure. there has been some progress, so the academy committed to doubling the number of people of color and doubling the number of
women within their ranks by last year by 2020. in fact, they met that goal. but the academy is still overwhelmingly white and overwhelmingly male. the academy does not require its voters to watch the performances before they vote. and so this really turns out to be a popularity contest amongst older white men. >> so in terms of why it's taken so long, what do you think? i mean, the oscars have been around for 90 years and still the majority of voters are white men. how is that still the case? >> the answer is unclear. you know, franklin leonard has a wonderful op-ed in "the new york times" today in which he indicates due to research from the mckenzie company that the hollywood studios are leaving $3 billion every year on the table because of anti-black
bias. we know that films that represent different aspects of various race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity do incredibly well at the box office and that's because they're playing to their audience. the fastest-growing demographic of moviegoers are the latinx community, so put more movies out there that represent them and make sure that the filmmakers also behind the scenes also represent diverse communities. when hollywood decides not to do that, we get the results that we see. >> so one of the things in the last two minutes here that is true about hollywood is that generally speaking in the past there's been a handful of big studios that make all the things. now with the increase of streaming and other platforms, there is more diversity. is that part of the key to getting to equity in terms of representations in hollywood? >> let's hope so.
having streaming services like hulu, amazon prime, netflix democratizes the process when prepandemic we would go to a theater and hand our money for our ticket anonymously, right? and so what we really need to be talking about is not the oscars because the awards shows are at the end of the line. we need to be talking about who is telling the stories and whose stories are being told. let's start at the screen writing stage and democratize and make that process more inclusive. >> that is a really important point. it's not just who's in front of the camera, it's also who's behind the camera and who is writing the words. april, thank you so much for being here today. it's so great to see you and to chat with you ahead of sunday's oscars, which we're excited to see. vp of content strategy at
ensemble, thanks for being here tonight. please stay safe. thank you, everyone, for making the time for us tonight the week with josh johnson will be here tomorrow night. you can catch my show, congressional monday through friday at 6:00 p.m. and again at 8:00 p.m. eastern if you miss it on peacock. i hope to see you then. good night.
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hello, everyone. i'm alicia menendez. this hour, keeping up with the gop. one of the most famous trans americans says she wants to run for california governor as a republican. also tonight, demands for justice and police reform in the streets across america after separate shootings in ohio and north carolina reveal yet again an all too in common threat in our country. plus more than half of all states are considering bills to restrict the right to protest. in four states, these crackdowns are already law. what you should know about your rights. and the immigration story you're not hearing enough about. haitian refugees still facing deportation.