Hip-Hop legend and actor LL Cool J has partnered with Procter & Gamble (P&G) for Widen The Screen, the brand’s initiative to create and promote equality for Black creators in the advertising, film, and media industries.
During Tribeca X, P&G hosted a forum titled “Advance The Culture and Currency Through Inclusive Storytelling,” where LL and other business executives shared information about developing engaging and appealing content for the consumer. LL, founder and CEO of Rock The Bells and Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer of Procter & Gamble, sat with For(bes) The Culture and spoke about the initiative’s continued commitment to invest in and serve the Black creators authentically telling Black stories in the industry.
“A lot of companies made big announcements to the Black community during the pandemic, but did not always rise up to the task,” LL told Forbes. “Mark and P&G truly stepped up to the plate. I’m living proof of that. Rock The Bells is living testimony of this.”
LL added, “We deliver what we promise to deliver. Black people frequently lack confidence in huge corporations when they wish to work with them. P&G wants to avoid being perceived as appropriators. They genuinely want to learn from the culture. My entire life I’ve been bleeding this culture. The fact that we are working together is evidence that it must be done properly, and I’m making sure it keeps both of us in the best possible light while also benefiting all parties involved.”
The Queens, N.Y. native also spoke on Rock The Bells being a platform to empower creatives and help develop talent from underserved communities. “When you’re in this industry, you learn the power behind the camera and the mic and how being a storyteller with this platform has the ability to be a true catalyst for change. This is what fuels my work with Rock the Bells. I want to ensure that Black voices and experiences from all generations are not only recognized, but that they are also cultivated, and compensated on the level their creative expression demands & deserves.”
With the assistance of P&G and Pritchard, LL Cool J predicts an upheaval of the advertising and media world, which he hopes will result in the empowerment of the consumer. “We are at a historical crossroads. We are in the midst of a significant transition in the advertising industry and the way business is conducted globally. Mark is leading the way to that tipping point by ushering in a new era in which more people are included in these types of events, wealth development, ad production and simply interacting with their people in general. You must care about your audience if you want to connect with them. And you must engage with people who have an actual connection.”
In addition to LL Cool J, the forum featured host Rose Pierre-Louis, Chief Operating Officer, McSilver Institute, Donald Jackson, Chairman & CEO, Central City Productions, Zoey Martinson, Director, 8:46 Films Cupids and Louis Carr, President of Media Sales, BET Networks.