Monday, April 25, 2011

8737: Where Are All The White People?

The One Club posted the following announcement on its website:

Where Are All The Black People?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A frank, no-holds-barred conversation about diversity--and the dearth of people of color--in the advertising industry, and what we’re doing to change it.

With Jeff Goodby, co-founder of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Jimmy Smith, Group Creative Director of TBWA\Chiat\Day/Los Angeles, and a panel of industry notables.

Venue: 82 Mercer
Between Broome and Spring St, New York City

Discussion: 6 pm - 8 pm

Seating is Limited


Okey-doke, where to begin?

First, The One Club asking, “Where Are All The Black People?” is like the Minuteman Project wondering, “Where Are All The Mexicans?” That is, the organization as a whole doesn’t really care about locating any non-Whites, as evidenced by the abysmal lack of color in its roster of honorees. The One Club has traditionally been an exclusive club, despite the recent clich├ęd moves to delegate diversity and launch minority youth outreach programs.

Second, the event appears to be part of The One Club’s Creative Week being held May 9-15 in New York. In fact, the schedule of activities indicates “Where Are All The Black People?” is dovetailing with The One Show Student Award ceremony. Guess which affair will probably draw a bigger crowd.

Third, it should be interesting to hear Jeff Goodby weigh in. The man has been noticeably silent on the topic. If he parrots his powerhouse peers, expect Goodby to deliver one of these lines:

“Our industry has to do a better job.”
“We have a long way to go.”
“My agency is starting a minority internship program.”
“Afro-Americans aren’t aware of the opportunities.”
“Let’s assemble a Diversity Committee.”
“I’m pledging $$$ to UNCF.”
“Some of my best friends are ADCOLOR® Award winners.”
“I’m just an Old White Guy.”
“Now that’s fucked up!”

Fourth, if the true intent is to stage “a frank, no-holds-barred conversation,” the “panel of industry notables” should definitely include Hadji Williams, Harry Webber, Sanford Moore, Roy Eaton and Cyrus Mehri—and absolutely exclude Chief Diversity Officers.

Fifth, the discrimination dearth of minorities can only be addressed by asking, “Where Are All The White People?” That is, until there is bona fide commitment and active involvement from the current majority, nothing will change.

Ironically, if the event does turn out to be a transformational experience, it might qualify for a White Pencil.

1 comment:

Craig said...

the “panel of industry notables” should definitely include Hadji Williams, Harry Webber, Sanford Moore, Roy Eaton and Cyrus Mehri"


What panel that would be.