Telling Diverse Stories on the Web

by Miranda Campbell

For Bobby Del Rio, creator of IRL, these kinds of responses point to systemic barriers to entry in film and TV, where contacts, experience, and wealth create an uneven playing field. Del Rio argues that creating more diversity in film and TV starts with the overt desire to do so, pointing to the shared manifesto for his series that outlines central tenets for the show, like “creating a world you want to see.”

Creating web series can be a way to connect immediately and more directly with audiences, and the panelists shared their experiences finding audiences who are hungry to see themselves reflected in the media. Murphy suggested that it’s important to see all kinds of people in “normal situations.” But creating a series directly for the Web also means encountering a world that can be toxic and hostile. Murphy noted that online comments about the female characters on Teenagers can be “slut shaming” and “pretty ugly.”

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