"Groundbreaking" is the word to describe the panelists at The Hollywood Reporter's fifth annual MIPCOM Women in Global Entertainment Power Lunch, which THR is hosting together with A+E Networks and Lifetime.
Euzhan Palcy of JMJ International Pictures, who was born in France, can lay claim to being the first-ever black woman to direct a Hollywood feature - 1989's A Dry White Season, a South Africa-set thriller featuring Donald Sutherland, Janet Suzman and Marlon Brando, who received an Oscar nomination for his supporting turn.
Palcy will be joined by Shondaland's Betsy Beers. With ABC hits Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, The Catch and How to Get Away With Murder, she has shown how breaking the color and gender barrier can pay off with viewers and critics. The next series from the workaholic producer is Still Star-Crossed, a multiracial take on the story of Romeo and Juliet that picks up after the ill-fated lovers' demise.
The other panelists are two of the stars from Lifetime's critically lauded reality TV satire UnREAL, Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer. The show breaks all the written and unwritten rules of TV, holding a mirror to the industry and showing how damaging, in "real life," TV cliches of race and sexuality can be.
A+E will be repped by Amanda Hill, former chief creative officer at the company's international division, who last month took over as marketing boss for A+E Networks.
"These are pioneers in an industry that is just now coming to grips with its lack of diversity," says Marisa Guthrie, THR's East Coast television editor, who will moderate the Power Lunch panel. "Their example can serve as a powerful reminder that art has a role to play in advancing the culture."
The 2016 MIPCOM Women in Global Entertainment Power Lunch will be held at the Majestic Hotel in Cannes on Monday, Oct. 17, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.
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