It’s beginning to look a lot like diversity on TV. These days, streaming services have made the remote control and couch-surfing obsolete with Netflix as the reigning MVP for original screen-grabbers like Orange Is The New Black and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, each loaded with flame emoji-worthy snark, uber-relatable storylines and a colorful cast of characters.
For Day 2 of Advertising Week 2015 (Sept. 29), OITNB staples Uzo Aduba (who plays Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren) and Dascha Polanco (who holds down the role of Dayanara Diaz) alongside Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Titus Andromedon) sat down for a panel moderated by WhoSay‘s editorial director, Kristin Benson, speaking on diversity and the changing look of primetime.
Grab the quotable highlights below.
“We started this journey at a time where we didn’t know what a “Netflix and it was really exciting to see the landscape for television really change right before our eyes, and how we understood TV. What it could be and what it could mean to people and how you could really, with a stroke of the pen, in the case of our show, Jenji Kohan, really created an environment for new stories to exist.”—Uzo Aduba
“People are still hungry for people who look like them [on television].”—Tituss Burgess
“I know when I was growing up, I didn’t have a Titus Andromedon. I would be really scared or inspired, one or the other, but I think I would have thought differently and who knows where I would be now, having been afforded the opportunity to be comfortable in my skin earlier as a result of having someone on-screen who looks like me. … I think it’s important to foster this conversation and inspire a nation of writers, who feel brave enough to write about something they don’t think there’s more of in an attempt to moralize all of the varied differences that are among us in this room.”—Tituss Burgess
“Orange Is The New Black is an originator. We kind of affected many other programming in a way that they’re now, ‘Oh let’s get the curvy girl, let’s get the girl from Florida that came off the boat from Cuba.'”—Dascha Polanco
“Audiences are ready for the truth, and whatever that truth might look like.”—Uzo Aduba
“I just want to be in a position where I am respected as a lead role, not the best friend, the sidekick, the girlfriend, the abusee. I just want to be an action hero, I want to be Mission Impossible! Jump out of a plane or something.”—Dascha Polanco
“I think it would be perhaps foolish, I might say, or presumptuous, to believe or assume that in three plus years of television, all the progress that needed to be made had been conquered in that time through a singular show…I think that in time we might get there.”—Uzo Aduba