Jul 30, 2020 • 1HR 56M

Episode 6: Open Mic Night with K. Austin Collins

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Diversity Hire
A podcast about being "POC" in media. Hosted by @arjununcle & @krevinlorenzo
Episode details

Hello and welcome to episode 6 of Diversity Hire.

Our guest this week is Kameron Austin Collins, the film critic for Vanity Fair and a cruciverbalist (crossword constructor!) for venues like The New Yorker, The New York Times, and American Values Crossword Club.

We talked about the present state of film criticism, prejudice in the crossword community, and also his time as a staff writer at the Ringer. In particular, we discussed a recent article on the website, in which its founder Bill Simmons, among many choice remarks, said the company’s podcast business was not an “Open Mic Night,” in response to the lack of diversity in the Ringer’s podcasting roster.

Arjun and Kevin also talk about why Bill Simmons’ influence on media is so dumb and why Gawker was not a good website. Enjoy the episode!

  • Kameron discusses what it’s like to program the New York Film Festival during a pandemic (8:50)

  • Kameron leads us through his career timeline (12:32)

  • Transitioning from working at Princeton to working at The Ringer (21:30)

  • Kameron responds to the New York Times article in which he was quoted (24:52)

  • Media auteurism and the lack of accountability (36:49)

  • How the tone of The Ringer hampered legitimate criticism (47:59)

  • What Kameron makes of the calls for diversity in film in 2020 (re: Progress in Moderation: A Night of Conflict and Compromise at the Oscars, The Ringer 2018) (51:34)

  • The failings of representational diversity politics (57:38)

  • The present state of film criticism (re: Stakes Is High: On Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq”, Los Angeles Review of Books, 2016) (1:06:08)

  • Racism experienced as a crossword constructor, and the toxicity of the crossword community (1:14:57)

  • We don’t care about Gawker (1:23:11)

  • Feeling more allegiance to movies than to media (1:24:36)

  • Kameron and Kevin discuss how differences in class backgrounds amongst media members have become apparent in the era of coronavirus (Kameron and Kevin are both from working class backgrounds and have family members who were affected by the virus) (1:26:21)

  • How media pollutes your life (1:30:02)

  • What Kameron sees as his role in media (1:33:22)

  • Why having a voice is so powerful to Kameron (re: Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods Is Gold) (1:38:00)

  • The Diversity Tribunal (1:43:28)

This is your brain *picture of your brain*. This is your brain on Diversity Hire *it’s the same picture of your brain, but this time it’s wearing a Fuck You You Fuckin’ Fuck shirt from Canal Street*. Any questions? If so, email us at diversityhirepod@gmail.com. We’ll read your questions in an upcoming Q&A episode. Also, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts. You can use your review to share anonymous experiences of working in corporate media, and we will read those on the pod as well.