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Black Panther made $1 Billion. What this could mean for diversity in Hollywood.

Earlier this past weekend, Black Panther, the latest blockbuster juggernaut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, crossed the $1.1 billion box office threshold in global ticket sales. While billion dollar movies have increased in frequency in recent years, they are still far from the norm as only thirty-three movies have reached this lofty achievement when not adjusted for inflation.

What makes Black Panther's success particularly noteworthy is that it is the first movie ever with a predominantly black cast to achieve this status and only the second film helmed by an African American director to break the billion dollar mark, with F. Gary Gray's Fate of the Furious being the first. Could this be a sign that Hollywood is finally ready to admit that audiences want films featuring more diverse casts and creative teams?


Aside from having a mostly black cast, Black Panther also features a quartet of strong black women, including Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o, who throw down in the battlefield just as much as their male counterparts. Unlike most action movies, the women in the film are not depicted as sex objects or seen arguing over a man, but rather, as fully dimensional characters who fight and quip with the best of them. Compare this to the #1 and #3 box office films of all time, Avatar and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which both feature African American female actors, Zoe Saldana and Nyong'o respectively, in key roles where in both cases the actors are depicted entirely in CGI motion capture performances rendering both their race and to some extent their gender obsolete at best and (literally) alien at worst.

The myth that "black films don't travel" overseas is quickly being debunked by Black Panther's success as is the outdated concept that female led movies can't succeed in markets like China where Wonder Woman earned a solid $89 million despite relatively low name recognition for the character. It's not just superhero movies either. Hidden Figures, Get Out and Moonlight all beat market expectations for overseas ticket sales.

Only time will tell if the trend of Hollywood movies led by diverse casts and creators will continue to grow, but this is show business after all and ticket sales speak volumes. And if this myth continues to persist, the already greenlit sequels to Wonder Woman and Black Panther should be the final nail in the coffin.

Zapier Inc

How Zapier Director of Compensation Jocelyne Wright-McLemore Is Tackling Imposter Syndrome as a Black Woman in HR

Jocelyne Wright-McLemore has a sticky note that she looks at every day: "I'm overqualified and I can do this."

Zapier's Director of Compensation put that sticky note up shortly after she rolled out a big new project at the online automation company and received some critical feedback on it. Though the criticism came from a tiny portion of her audience and the project was a success overall, hearing it brought back some of the self-doubt and imposter syndrome that she faced earlier in her career.

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Webinars

Meet PowerToFly's 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Award Honorees

This past February, PowerToFly was very proud to wrap up the panel portion of our recent Diversity Reboot 2021: The 100 Day Kickoff virtual summit by presenting our very first Diversity & Inclusion Award Show, honoring some true D&I champions across multiple industries

Back in 2020, we launched a submission process to honor select individuals who just don't talk the talk but truly walk the walk when it comes to making their companies and the world a more diverse and inclusive place. From the many submissions that we received, we chose six champions to honor.

You can watch the acceptance speeches for our honorees below or click here to watch the 45-minute awards show which included a roundtable discussion with our six DEI champions.

Want to nominated a friend or colleague for a future D&I Award? Submit their info here.


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How These 30 Companies are Celebrating Women's History Month in 2021

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But women have never had a year like 2020.

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How Hopin’s CCO Knew a Startup Environment Was Right For Her—and Two Questions to See If It’s Right for You

If there's a thread that connects all the different facets of Rosie Roca's life, it's the power of bringing people together.

From how she was raised, to how she got her first job, to the decision to leave enterprise software to take on her current role as the Chief Customer Officer at fast-growing events technology platform Hopin, a focus on community has helped to guide Rosie's decisions.

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