Warner Bros. Television has announced a multi-year content partnership and overall deal with Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, CEO of the Center for Policing Equity and “respected expert on racism, sexism, and public safety,” according to Deadline.
The deal involved Goff and his newly established creative team, JusticeRx. Goff and the JusticeRx group “will develop original programming and consult with the Studio and show creators to promote equity, inclusion and social justice. Goff and his team will consult from a project’s original inception through development, production and beyond.”
Goff is the CEO of the Center for Policing Equity, which works with law enforcement agencies across North America in order to address racial issues in policing.
The CPE website states that the center “produces analyses identifying and reducing the causes of racial disparities in public safety and advocates for large-scale and meaningful change. Using evidence-based approaches to social justice, we use data to create levers for social, cultural and policy change.”
It also adds that the group utilizes “data to build a more fair and just system. We partner with law enforcement and communities. Our aim is to bridge the divide of communication, generational mistrust, and suffering. But most of all, we are the path that science can forge towards public safety, community trust, and racial equity.”
Its core values are also listed on the website, including, “The vicious legacy of White supremacy is a root cause of suffering across the globe. Systems that support White supremacy must be resisted and dismantled” and “…Sending only law enforcement to respond to a crisis that is only about housing (for instance) does not make communities safer.”
Goff gave a TED Talk that focused on racism and policing that has been viewed over 2 million times. Deadline reports, “Goff’s work has pioneered scientific experiments that exposed how our minds learn to associate Blackness and crime implicitly — often with deadly consequences.” He has also been involved in creative areas in the past. The outlet adds that on top of running CPE, “Goff founded the Harvard Black Arts Festival and was a founding member of the pathbreaking queer hip-hop collective D/DC. He was also a producer on BET’s six-part docuseries Finding Justice, helmed by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and dream hampton (Surviving R. Kelly).”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Goff commented on the deal, saying, “This year, the world was reminded of the power stories have to define our lives … That creates an unprecedented opportunity to direct that power towards uplifting vulnerable communities. Our goal will be to help storytellers un-tell the lies we tell about ourselves. I could not be more excited about this opportunity to work with the brilliant people at WBTV in that project.”
Warner Bros. TV Group chairman Channing Dungey said, “Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff has been a leading voice of moral clarity on critical issues facing our society, and through this creative partnership, we are honored to have the benefit of his insight, guidance, and counsel here at the studio … We are also extremely excited to collaborate with Dr. Goff and his team to create powerful and compelling programming that will both entertain and inspire.”
Warner Bros. TV Group has reportedly been trying to advance content that demonstrates diversity and leads to more justice in society. The studio’s CBS sitcom recently received backlash for casting a non-Afghan actor to play an Afghan character in the show, “The United States of Al.” The show has been criticized as offensive, although one of the show’s executive producers defended it over the weekend.
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