Culture — that was the buzzword of the afternoon Friday at the third annual Culture Creators Innovators and Leaders Awards Brunch, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. In its third consecutive year, the ceremony honors the contributions and achievements of the African-American community in entertainment, attracting Hollywood guests such as R&B artist Will.i.am, music exec Sylvia Rhone and more.
Founded by Atlantic Records senior vp marketing and brand partnerships Joi Brown, the Culture Creators strive to uplift the coming generations of black individuals who will continue to make history and shape the culture of society.
On hand to be honored for his contributions to the African-American community in film and television was Macro founder and CEO Charles D. King, who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the “renaissance period” currently underway in the industry.
“The demographic shift is in favor of the new majority and I think this shift will continue on a global level,” said King, in regard to the diversity existing in the entertainment industry. “I look at this time now as a renaissance period, and I’m just excited to be one small portion of this amazing movement.”
Macro, the production company behind the award-winning Fences, the Oscar-nominated Mudbound and, most recently, the critically acclaimed Sorry to Bother You, is a leading media brand that represents people of color in film and television. Recently founded in 2015, Macro has achieved critical success as the media brand prepares to start filming three new projects, including the upcoming Netflix series Raising Dion, starring Michael B. Jordan.
As for the previous success of Dee Rees’ Mudbound, King said he wasn’t entirely surprised by the Oscar buzz that followed the film’s release on the streaming giant.
“I knew that Mudbound was a really powerful story that would resonate with a wide audience, as it had a lot of universal themes,” said King. “I was blessed to know Dee Rees prior to starting Macro, and I knew she was a brilliant auteur who just needed the resources to support her artistry. When [they] sent me the script, I knew there was something special.”
King’s latest producing venture Sorry to Bother You premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. The film features an elite ensemble with stars including Lakeith Stanfield, Armie Hammer, Tessa Thompson and Danny Glover. Prior to its nationwide release, the pic had already received critical acclaim, something King considered a pleasant surprise.
“I knew Sorry to Bother You was a movie that would be very provocative and thought-provoking,” he said. “That was one where I was pleasantly surprised because [writer-director Boot Riley’s] execution of [the film] far surpassed what I would have imagined, given that he’s a first-time filmmaker. And yes, people love it.”
Sorry to Bother You is set for release in theaters on July 6.
Among the other honorees were Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, esteemed choreographer Fatima Robinson and Live Nation Urban president Shawn Gee.