Entertainment Media - Define American

Innovative pop culture strategies

Define American’s Creative Initiatives Team consults with entertainment industry executives, showrunners and writers. We partner on advocacy campaigns, speak at industry events and produce ground-breaking research. Change the narrative, change the world.

Move your audience to action.

For two years running, Fast Company has named Define American one of the world's "Most Innovative Companies," including in film and television and in the nonprofit sector.

Consulting

We consult with entertainment industry creatives to help them develop more realistic immigrant characters and navigate complex immigration-related storylines with the goal of creating positive and long-lasting cultural change.

To date, we have consulted on more than 50 film and television projects. In 2018, we signed with United Talent Agency to expand our impact within the entertainment industry. In 2019, we partnered with Comedy Central to develop comedic content that helps beget social change.

Check out our work on
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
Superstore (NBC)
Party of Five (Freeform)
Roswell, New Mexico (The CW / Netflix)
The Sun Is Also a Star (Warner Bros. Pictures)

For more information, please contact [email protected].

Research and Resources

We compile data and create resources to help entertainment industry creatives evolve in their understanding of American immigrants.

We produced and regularly update Immigrants and Immigration: A Guide for Entertainment Professionals, a resource for creatives who want to tell stories that are both accurate and humanizing about immigrants in our country today.

In collaboration with USC Annenberg’s Norman Lear Center, we analyzed the portrayal of immigrant characters and storylines across scripted television. Our study found continued underrepresentation of marginalized immigrant communities and inaccurate criminalization—but also discovered that TV shows with nuanced immigrant characters and immigration storylines can shift attitudes and inspire people to real-life action. Learn more about how changing the narrative in Hollywood can change the world, download a summary of the 2018 study or read the full report.

Also download our 3-page summary on the state of Mass Incarceration and Mass Detention.

Advocacy

When hip-hop artist 21 Savage was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for being undocumented, we helped form the #Free21Savage coalition, drafted press materials, co-produced a PSA, and protested outside the Grammy Awards on his behalf. Our successful efforts to free him on bond were featured in a Billboard cover story.

In 2018, we hosted, in partnership with the Writers Guild Foundation and the Hollywood Reporter, a panel discussion on how immigrants are depicted on television featuring comedian Cristela Alonzo and writers Rafael Agustín (Jane the Virgin) and Mando Alvarado (Vida). And months earlier, we hosted a panel discussion on immigrant narratives in Hollywood featuring actors Bambadjan Bamba (Marvel’s Black Panther) and Nico Santos (Crazy Rich Asians) and Melissa Harris-Perry.

Story Platform

Our immigration story bank is as a resource for entertainment industry creatives looking to incorporate immigrant characters into storylines.

Please contact [email protected] if you use one of our stories as inspiration for a project so that we can notify the appropriate parties.

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