Throughout college I interned at a number of entertainment companies. Record labels, marketing/promotional companies and a sports public relations firm. It was fun. The week of All-Star Weekend in Atlanta I think I went to one class. Black College Reunion in Daytona Beach Joe Budden chilled in our hotel room. Ying Yang Twins, Method Man, Cee-Lo, Ludacris, Atlanta Falcon events. I thought I was living the life.
After graduation I was excited about the opportunity to hit the ground running as an entertainment publicist. The sports publicist I had been working with had one too many projects and she was prepared to pass one on to me. Crackheadz Gone Wild. They wanted me to do media relations for a new DVD by that title. I wanted to work this project. It would be my opportunity to prove I could handle my own client. I needed to work this project. A sister had bills to pay. But at the end of the day, I couldn’t do it.
Something in my gut wouldn’t allow me to work this particular project. It felt too much like exploitation. Here are people at their worst. Sick. Drug addicted. Struggling through life. Yet a “film maker” decided he/she could make a buck by filming their struggles and selling it to the world. I couldn’t find peace with participating in this type of project.
When I finally told the publicist who would be contracting the project out to me I couldn’t do it, she thought I was a fool. She couldn’t understand why I would walk away from such a prosperous opportunity. But I knew I had to.
This exchange taught me two things: 1) my purpose was greater than pushing entertainment to the masses and 2) not everyone would always agree with my perspectives. From that day forward I’ve had two goals: 1) to avoid “entertainment” that exploits other people and 2) to use entertainment to educate and empower as many folks as possible.
At the end of the day, I hope you understand three things:
1) We all need a good laugh every now and then. But when your entertainment becomes watching people’s “real” lives fall apart, there is a serious problem.
2) At some point it is your responsibility as a citizen of the world to contribute to the greater good of this earth. Whether you are an entertainer, a corporate employee or the city bus driver, as someone who breathes air, you have the responsibility to leave the world better than you found it. With that said, I have a huge problems with ALL people leave messes behind instead.
3) You may not agree with me, but you won’t silence me. My voice is important and it deserves to be heard.
Now, in the name of mindless entertainment, enjoy the latest episode of Got 2B Real.