There was a time when I was knocking on doors and concerned with being recognized in dominant culture. I've found a space where the terrain is different, where I'm embraced by people like me, and where I'm building new ways of doing things, as opposed to trying to insert myself in a place that might not be welcoming.
In Hollywood, there is one dominant voice. It is a white, male, straight gaze. When I talk about positive portrayals of black people and women, I'm saying complexity. I'm not saying goody-two-shoes, everything's okay. No. The positive view of me is to see me as I am: the 'good,' the 'bad,' the gray. That is a positive portrayal.
If you walk into a room, and there is no one that's not like you there, whether it's a woman or a person of color, anyone that's different from you, you should be able to say this is a problem. We need allies in that room to say that video, this room, this company, these ideas, this film, this whatever, this is not right - this is not good enough.
I think any black woman is a queen. It's just, do you know it? Do you see it in yourself? Do you recognize it, do you abide by that, do you define yourself as that? Based on who we are and what we've been through and how we survive and where we stand, we are on kind of sacred ground. We stand on the backs of our ancestors.
You could make the most beautiful film, and that weekend it's raining too hard on the East Coast, and no one goes out. Artists should have a chance to do it again. That's the challenge: Women artists don't get a second chance. People-of-color artists don't get a second chance. You're put in director's jail, and that's a wrap.