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HBO Max Launches Scene In Black, a Social Platform to Amplify Black Talent

HBO Max Launches Scene In Black, a Social Platform to Amplify Black Talent

HBO Max Scene in Black, an audience initiative to amplify Black stories and talent, is now live on Instagram and Twitter. In addition to these new social content franchises for the platform, a lineup of in-person events will take place across the country kicking off with “Insecure Fest” on October 23, to celebrate the beloved HBO series Insecure. The custom content and experiences will feature HBO Max talent and creators, provide resources for discussion, and include conversations amongst Black thought leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, and influencers. 

As part of this roll-out, a new I Am Scene sizzle reel presents the Scene in Black manifesto, narrated by poet Cyrus Aaron, and highlights Insecure, I May Destroy You, Lovecraft Country, and more beloved programming on HBO Max.

“We continuously strive to develop thoughtful and creative, audience-first campaigns that strategically engage Latinx, Black, Asian-American and LGBTQ+ audiences,” said Jackie Gagne, Senior Vice President, Multicultural Marketing, HBO Max and HBO. “With the launch of Scene in Black, we further that mission by curating a space to amplify and celebrate Black talent in front of and behind the camera while creating a path for the next generation of creators to share their stories.”

Social Content Franchises include:

  • The Chapter That Changed You: Talent will share an insightful or meaningful film, book or TV show that has impacted their personal and/or professional careers. 
  • Note To My Younger Self/Creatives Who Look Like Me: Talent shares two to three things they would tell their younger self or up and coming creatives to prepare for what the industry/life will bring.
  • Hot Takes: Talent gives their “hot takes” on controversial topics that are typically reserved for the group chat. 
  • Worst Audition: Talent discusses their unsuccessful auditions or interviews and how those moments contributed to their future successes.
  • Filmmaker Starter Kit: Breaking down the careers of filmmaking legends, framed as a primer or starter kit for those who don’t know, or those who want to know more.

To further celebrate the launch of Scene in Black, HBO Max will host multi-market activations in select cities throughout the country, starting with a live event in Los Angeles in late October to celebrate the fifth and final season of Insecure. Each event experience will feature food, merchandise, musical performances, and a Past Empowers Future panel conversation exploring how HBO Max and HBO empowered creatives to make their marks on and off-screen. In light of COVID-19, each event will be taking necessary precautions to ensure a safe and joyous celebration. Dates and details for each city will be announced closer to the event. 

Tastemakers from the select cities will act as the Planning Committee and hosts for the family reunions, responsible for curating food vendors, opening musical acts, and DJs. Planning committee members include: 

  • New York City 
  • Atlanta 
    • Paige Shari Addison is a live event host and social media marketing strategist hailing from East Atlanta. Along with engaging masses, Paige Shari is able to intimately connect with audiences on the ground. 
  • Chicago 
    • Trey White has taken his South Side Chicago persona and has become a media personality seen on Television and heard weekly on WGCI and Nationwide with iHeartMedia. 
    • Charles Beloved was born and raised in Chicago. He leads talent brand and events for a global fintech company. He is the founder and host of RNBHouseParty event series, and serves as the host for a variety of digital shows. 

“When our team brought A Black Lady Sketch Show to HBO, we knew we would be in good hands,” said Robin Thede, creator of A Black Lady Sketch Show. “The multicultural marketing team has become a part of our family and helped us show up directly in the communities that matter most to us. Now with Scene in Black, fans of ABLSS have an official social hub to view exclusive content and learn more about our cast and amazing behind the scenes team. We’re thrilled about what’s to come.”

“The recent shifts that we’ve seen in the industry have opened doors for creatives like myself to share our stories and shape the way our communities are depicted both on and offscreen, said Sophia Nahli Allison, director of Eyes On The Prize: Hallowed Ground. “I am excited about what’s to come in the future and I am grateful that HBO Max will now offer this Scene in Black platform that highlights the work of the incredible creatives behind the scenes that I have the pleasure of working with.”

Announced earlier this month, Scene in Black is an audience initiative that is the home for Black creators, tastemakers, and dreamers, who are culturally connected, socially engaged and uniquely Black. Leveraging our rich history in amplifying Black stories and talent, this social platform spotlights the visionaries amongst us, and collectively promotes and supports the telling of stories from the Black perspective. 

Under the Our Stories to Tell banner, HBO Max’s audience-first initiative is a platform for visionaries within a dynamic industry, centered in diversity and rich in collaboration, celebration and the elevation of ideas. This audience-first initiative engages multicultural viewers through relatable storytelling and cultural programming at key moments and notable industry events throughout the year. Our Stories to Tell includes HBO Max Human By Orientation, launched in 2020, HBO Max Pa’lante!, which launched in March 2021 and now HBO Max Scene in Black.

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