Cape Town – Four A-list women in television got together to discuss current issues and it’s time to sit down and take notes.
Ellen Pompeo, Gabrielle Union, Gina Rodriguez and Emma Roberts recently participated in Net-A-Porter’s The Big Television Debate panel discussion which is a part of their Women In Television issue and it is quickly going viral for all the right reasons.
Addressing everything from pay equity to diversity and inclusion the successful ladies left no stone unturned in a very candid conversation.
One moment in particular has caught the attention of social media.
During their conversation about diversity, Ellen resorted to using the very room they were sitting in as an example of how underrepresented people of colour are.
“This day has been incredible and there's a ton of women in the room, but I don't see enough colour and I didn't see enough colour when I walked in the room today,” she said. “And I had a meeting with a director of another endorsement project that I’m doing. I said, ‘You know when I show up on set I would like to see the crew look like the world that I walk around in every day.’ And I think it's up to all productions to make sure that your crew looks like the world we see.”
The Grey’s Anatomy actress added: “As Caucasian people, it’s our job, it’s our task, it’s our responsibility to make sure that we speak up in every single room we walk into, that this is not OK and that we can all do better. It’s our job because we created the problem.”
WATCH THAT SNIPPET OF THE DISCUSSION HERE:
Adding to Ellen’s points, Gabrielle admitted that she never spoke up because she was fearful of how it would be received, and that she may seem ungrateful.
“I did not have the bravery to say it… because there’s a part of me that felt lucky to be here and I was like, ‘Maybe this is something I might talk about later, maybe I’ll call my girl Gina,’” Gabrielle stated. “It’s something we would talk about offline but not in mixed company… And I never, never would have thought to say it in this space because I don’t want to be appear ungrateful.”
Ellen then responded that she this is the reason she feels it is her responsibility to say something – because the women sitting next to her don’t feel comfortable to speak up.
“That's why it is my job and why I say we bear the burden, because they don’t feel comfortable to speak up. I’m happy to take it on in any room at any time.”
WATCH THE FULL PANEL DISCUSSION HERE: