Social impact agency Proper Daily hosted its second “Day of Irrational Conversations” summit on Thursday, with a star-studded lineup including Kim Kardashian, Azu Aduba, Chrissy Teigen, BJ Novak and director and producer Scott Budnick. was
Invitation-only event — produced in collaboration with culture change agency Invisible Hand. The Hollywood Reporter as a media partner — was held at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, and featured a full day of programming designed to unite television writers, producers and executives with cultural changemakers. . The day’s many discussions covered intellectual humility, mental health, social and economic divides, criminal justice, reproductive rights, climate change, responsible technology and more, with the aim of influencing future screen stories and narratives. It was to help maintain authenticity.
Kardashian and Budnick sat down with host Baratunde Thurston for the “How to Get Sh!t Done in a Divided America” panel, where the two discussed their longtime advocacy for prison reform after discovering that, Especially for people of color.
Budnick, who had a prolific career as a producer on many of Todd Phillips’ films, went on to run the nonprofit The Anti-Recidivism Coalition, which works to end mass incarceration in California. Left the industry for five years.
“I took a 90 percent pay cut, gave up my power position, couldn’t cast anybody, couldn’t hire anybody, and it was the biggest five years,” Budnick said. “What I realized in the five years of running this nonprofit organization was that it was all about storytelling — all the men and women, boys and girls I worked with told their stories. And was about humanization.”
“I think storytelling is so important because people are always asking, ‘How can you help? What can you do?'” Kardashian added. “Someone once said to me, ‘You Why work on a case? Work on the policy.’ And I told them, ‘If you don’t put a face to this rap sheet and you don’t understand’ – people just want safety in the community, they want to feel that. Until you hear their story, until you hear where they came from and where they are now, you won’t feel safe if you just read a piece of paper. So the storytelling aspect is so important to enable policy to move forward.”
“I have a rule that I’m going to take on 10 cases at a time and I can’t really go above that,” Kardashian said of balancing all of her activism work with her business and law school classes. ” Budnick also noted how he has 300 people from ARC, “all those who were formerly incarcerated, who are now union camera people, union hair and makeup, union wardrobe. It’s been a game changer.” Yes, especially on his films Just mercy Which is also related to criminal justice reform on screen.
Among Budnik’s current film projects, through his co-financing company One Community, he said THR He is looking for stories that can impact people’s lives but are also entertaining. Fun first. Do not feed your vegetables to anyone, do not give medicine to anyone. We’re bringing you a big commercial movie, television show, documentaries with real movie stars, it’s going to be great and entertaining and you don’t know what’s going to happen but you’re going to learn something. You want to make an impact at the end of it, and we’re going to give you a way to make an impact at the end of it,” he was quoted as saying. get out And Black Cheetah as inspiration.
The summit’s morning programming also saw Aduba perform a dramatic reading of Jonathan Haidt’s essay After Babylon and writer-director Billy Ray — who is currently working with Adam McKay on a feature film about the January 6 uprising — on a panel titled “Radicalism: ‘How Bad It Can Get’ Is?'”
“What we’ve been learning over the last six years is that democracy is a decision. It’s not absolute like gravity or the morning sun. Democracy happens when 330 million Americans decide that it should happen and its It has to be nurtured and protected and watered,” Ray told the audience. “If we don’t, we just won’t have one.”
In the afternoon, Novak participated in a discussion about “Road Trips to Deeper Understanding,” where, inspired by the trip he took for his film. Vengeancehe encouraged Hollywood to “send people back to where they’re rooted so they can report things and it’s just delegation And all the Emmy-winning shows are about people with privilege.
Zazie Beetz moderated a discussion titled “Apocalypse Never: Our Climate Future and BIPOC Solutions” and in a side chat with THR He revealed his hopes for climactic stories on screen.
“If you’re setting a movie in 2022, there’s no world where your story doesn’t really include a climate conversation, whether it’s about how people choose to eat on your show. Are doing or choosing to take themselves or possibly because of crises. background,” he said. “I don’t necessarily think it’s about making the climate the focal point of every story, but about creating the climate of the landscape of a story — just like, if you’re in New York City. romcom. New York City is going to play a role in the story. Teigen was among the final speakers, leading a reproductive rights conversation called, “I Made This Choice.”
Proper Daily president Greg Proper, holding the first “Day of Irrational Talk” since 2019 after missing the past two years due to the pandemic, said this year the focus was on “intellectual humility and being wrong.” Happiness was on the issue, and helping us all build that muscle of curiosity and asking questions.”
And when it comes to booking talent and broader conversations, the organization has “tried to get out of the cable news debates and discussions and just have more sophisticated conversations about the issues. I think That most people want it, it’s hard to find,” added Propper. “I think people care, it’s just a question of, can we get them out of their writers’ rooms and out of their productions for a day to join us long enough to listen?” Go.”