According to Russell Simmons, Hollywood would make more money if it were more diverse. The music mogul and serial entrepreneur offered his thoughts on the lack of diversity and black power in Hollywood in an interview with LinkedIn, "I think Hollywood is incredibly segregated. I've never seen any place like it," he said. "The gatekeepers who are the most progressive activists inspired to make the world better ... they're better people, right? They're segregated. It's self-segregated in some cases, but there's nobody Black in charge of anything in Hollywood." He went on to discuss how the lack of diversity is hitting Hollywood where it hurts the most — in the pockets. "The lack of diversity is costing money. I think that the bosses, the chairmen, want the CEOs to create and the CEOs want people to create success and money. Without a diverse team then, even if you're a good story teller, you're telling a story that is maybe not cultural. If it's not cultural then you have a big hurdle to jump like [with the movies] Carol or Brooklyn. It's not Straight Outta Compton. They'll see that before they find out if it's good or bad." Hollywood's lack of diversity gives media entrepreneurs like Simmons a leg-up, and he's well aware of it. He spoke about how urban pop culture is "left out of Hollywood" when "it's the most mainstream thing there is." "They're lacking culture in Hollywood," he said. 'That gives me a big up, right? I know something about pop culture." Simmons founded All Def Digital, a media network on YouTube, in 2013. It's brought us videos that challenge the black and white cultural experience showcasing situations like a white family experiencing their first black BBQ and white people watching Martin for the first time. All Def Digital now houses an ad agency called ADHD, which helps brands reach urban audiences. But according to Simmons, Hollywood is catching up. The question is, will they catch up before it's too late?
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