Consumer products, entertainment industry adjust as a result of BLM protests

From the first Black “Bachelor” headlining the ABC show to brands renaming products and removing racially insensitive imagery, the protests following George Floyd’s death are sparking change.
6:19 | 07/15/20

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Transcript for Consumer products, entertainment industry adjust as a result of BLM protests
up. Here's Deborah Roberts. What are you? Dear white people, when you ask somebody who looks ethnically different, what are you, the answer is usually a person about the slap the Out of you. Reporter: If you're not black, you might never have been asked this question, but for so many, it's a painful scene. People take one look and assume that I'm poor or uneducated or wretched. So yeah, I tone it down. What's so wrong with that? Everything. Reporter: For three seasons, Justin Simeon has been exploring issues of racial injustice in white America. "Dear white people" is often punctuated with moments of humor but rooted in the realities of racism. There's a lot of things going on in your blind spots. Reporter: With America now facing a cultural reckoning, calls for anti-racism and representation are at the forefront causing tidal waves. Americans are beginning to look inward, as consumer products from aunt jemima to uncle Ben's. This can be news that those are offensive images. Reporter: The Washington football franchise finally agreeing to change its controversial name and logo. Native people have been calling for this moment for decades now. So it feels really great, but I'm also just really cautious about what's going to happen Reporter: Amanda blackhorse is navajo and a lead plaintiff in the case against professional football. She spoke with linsey Davis. With the Washington team and the "R" word. There's no reason why it should be the name of a football team. A lot of folks are apologizing for the past but not recognizing the present ways in which they are perpetuating systemic racism. Reporter: Actor, educator and producer, cox has been working to reshape what it looks like in the present image. Those of us who create TV and film and make sure that everyone gets to see themselves. Reporter: As calls for systemic change ring through the entertainment industry, recently, lady antebellum changing their name to lady a, but now in contention with Anita white who's been performing under that moniker for years. Baby, I'm Lovin' life I have built this name for decades. Before they were born. I'm an independent artist. We grind every day to do what we do. And black folks, indigenous people of color, of this land, we grind even harder. So sometimes all we have is our name. You don't want to have that taken from us. The reason why it's important is for those not just for me, this is more important for those who come behind my. Reporter: Change is often after 24 seasons on air, ABC's "The bachelor" finally announcing its first black bachelor, Matt James. He'll headline the show in 2021. We can't have change until we put that first foot forward, and the first foot forward for "The bachelor" is having a black lead. The show has nothing to do with race. It's about getting married. Black people get married. Indigenous people get married. People with disabilities get married. Why is it that that show has always pretended that the only people who get married are white cisgendered people. Reporter: Creators are including diversity writers in their contracts, something they have championed. The inclusion rider is saying we want there to be a representative number of people hired and cast in crew positions. Reporter: Which makes shows like "Dear white people" a trail blazing force. It's being touted as a show whites should turn to for education in this moment. We wanted to always be here, for people to watch the show, laugh, you know, because it is a it's very validating to hear that it's on lists. It's also frustrating, because this is what it took? Reporter: "Nightline" first sat down with the cast of "Dear white people" in 2018 to discuss police brutality on and off Something Justin said to me before we even started filming this show is that playing this character might change somebody's life or save somebody's life. Reporter: Following the death of George Floyd and black lives matter protests, the show has seen a more than 300% increase in viewership on Netflix. I can't celebrate from the rooftops. I didn't hear about that from my network but from an outside company, blind spot. Reporter: Simeon's quick to remind that disparities in the industry run deep and blind spots must constantly be checked. You see television companies and networks coming out with black lives matter statements, resource lists, ways in which they're donating money. That's a wonderful way to make a public statement, but, in private, what about our budgets? Why don't we get the same budgets an our white counter parts get? Why do we not get the same awards push, the same advertising? Reporter: Cox saying meaningful change comes with a profound change in how the industry operates at all levels. Let's cut that cycle of continuing to have to apologize for the past and be really aware, self-reflective of every single decision we make. We are either going to perpetuate systemic racism or help dismantle it.

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