*Even though black owned/targeted outlets like EURweb is on the scene at a lot of red carpet events in Hollywood, that doesn’t necessarily mean we get access to all the a-list celebs, particularly the black ones. That’s because their publicists – who are almost always white – on most occasions, steer them away from us and other urban outlets to speak with the non-black/urban outlets.
And to add to the frustration, 99 percent of the time we’re literally grouped together and stationed at the end of the red carpet. It’s like being “relegated to the ghetto.” 🙁 Well, guess what? Time’s up. Now after years of frustration, we are banding together to demand change for treatment one insider equates to being forced to ride on “the back of the bus.”
Veteran entertainment reporter Anita Bennett spoke EUR’s Lee Bailey, Jamaal Finkley (BlackTreeTV), Lisa Collins (LA Focus) as well as others and is exposing the situation in a new article for UrbanHollywood411.com:
Publications such as the Black Tree TV, Electronic Urban Report (EURweb), Hip Hollywood and the Christian-themed L.A. Focus newspaper generate millions of online views each month from predominantly black audiences. But representatives from those outlets say they are often overlooked by Hollywood executives and publicists when it comes to being granted access to marquee talent.
“As urban press, we’re pretty much relegated to the ghetto of red carpets, which means literally at the end of the line,” EURweb founder Lee Bailey told Urban Hollywood 411. “It’s like an analogy of having to ride in the back of the bus.”
A legendary radio broadcaster in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles , Bailey launched EURweb in 1997. The site currently generates up to two million page views a month, Bailey said. But he believes it would do much more traffic if given more access to top Hollywood talent.
“When we don’t get the access to the big stars, we don’t get as many clicks,” he explained.
Fewer clicks mean fewer advertising dollars, according to Lisa Collins, publisher of L.A. Focus.
“The fact that we don’t get access is a reflection of the fact that they’re not respecting the black consumer,” Collins stated. “And if they’re not respecting the black consumer, then we don’t get a piece of those advertising dollars and our businesses are run on advertising.”
Jamaal Finkley founded Black Tree TV in 1997 [the same year EURweb launched]. The company has 1.2 million subscribers on its various YouTube channels and generates about 17 million video views a month, Finkley said. Despite those massive viewing numbers, he insists he still has to fight for advertising dollars from movie studios and television networks.
Bennett’s article goes to note that Black Tree – Like EURweb – ran story after story on the Disney-Marvel blockbuster Black Panther and on director Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time because Finkley believed in the films and wanted to support them. Yet he said Disney ignored Black Tree when it came time to divvy out advertising dollars. In fact, he admitted the movie studio did not purchase a single ad with Black Tree.
“As far as we’ve been able to track down, there’s only been about $160,000 [advertising] dollars spent on black media,” Finkley said about the promotional campaigns for the two Disney films. “When you look at that, it doesn’t reflect our impact on the box office.”
Disney did not responded to a request for comment. No surprise there.
Well, Disney may not have much to say, but Anita Bennett’s story sure does. Read on to learn more about the struggle and the plan to deal with it, starting with this very article at UrbanHollywood411.com.