The ever-busy Marsai Martin found time this weekend to put on a house party-type brunch to boost black creatives in Hollywood.
The 15-year-old Black-ish star along with her company Genius Productions united with progressive nonprofit Color of Change for a writers brunch Saturday at Los Angeles cajun hotspot Harold & Belles restaurant in the Crenshaw district to promote writers of color in the entertainment industry. The brunch was Genius’ second such event, and was set up to highlight the need for diversity among Hollywood scribes so original stories can be told that properly reflect the black experience in all genres.
The brunch was hosted by Martin alongside her Genius crew led by her parents — co-founder Joshua Martin and vp Carol Martin — and their development team duo Prince Baggett and Nicole Dow.
Held in a private dining room at Harold & Belles, the event, which had over a hundred attendees, was an energetic affair, with games and an emphasis on fun and informality. “I wanted it to be more like a house party [and] I love games [that] make people feel closer to each other. [They’re] fun and cool. I wanted them to feel like they’re at home,” Martin said.
Martin spoke about the importance of events like this as necessary to promote more perspectives from writers of color that can translate to television, film and digital. “In an industry like this, you don’t get to see a lot of us [creatives of color] so to have a day where we can sit down and talk [to] express our feelings [about] what we want to see differently is pretty cool,” Martin said.
Supported by a team of black executives, Genius Productions is making strides on all platforms. Baggett urges events like this to empower creators of color. He added that events like the brunch offer a safe space to collaborate with executives so their stories can be heard. “We care about creators creating a platform that can go into other areas of content. We need to always be able to connect with each other to tell our stories and use the power that we have collectively instead of individually. We need to be able to bring that power into one big helm to make sure studio execs and producers know that we exist and that our stories need to be told,” he said.