Stories for change: AndACTION helps cause groups use TV and film stories to drive their issues forward
July 19, 2016
Grantee News From AndACTION:
What do “Scandal,” “Game of Thrones” and “Jurassic World” have in common with social movements? Each relies on stories to move audiences to feel a certain way. We all know that emotions can move people to take action. For TV shows like “Scandal,” the producers want to encourage their viewers to tune in next week, so they use storylines that captivate audiences and make them yearn for next week’s episode. For social movements, we want people to hear about the issues we work on, jump to their feet outraged or hopeful, and ready to act.
Imagine if people engaged in social causes with the same intensity as they watch their favorite films or TV shows. We know pop culture has the power to change social norms. We’ve seen this happen before. Think about how shows from “Will and Grace” to “Modern Family” made Americans think about LGBT equality in a different way. The potential for Hollywood to spark more large-scale social change is endless.
However, this is an untapped resource in our space. When you watch your favorite TV shows and hear the main character take a stand for women’s rights or mention the NSA, how do you take advantage of this opportunity before it’s too late? Better yet, what if you could be one step ahead today of what everyone will be talking about tomorrow?
Now you can. In mid-July, Spitfire will launch AndACTION, and we’re giving you a sneak peek today! AndACTION is a pop culture hub that gives social change organizations intel on upcoming and recent film or TV storylines. AndACTION hunts down leads and suggests creative ways to use them for maximum impact.
Already, AndACTION is working with HBO to expand the conversation around voting rights and has helped the ACLU and JustLeadershipUSA use the narrative feature “The Stanford Prison Experiment” to call for prison reform; ColorOfChange.org use the WGN show, “Underground” to emphasize its cultural leadership in driving the discussion about the political and social identities of Black Americans; and In the Public Interest use the season four premiere of “Orange is the New Black” to promote a research brief on the negative impacts of private prisons.
At the Compton Foundation, we know that pop culture has the power to help form and shape the social norms that determine whether movements succeed or fail. We’ve helped AndACTION get started and we’re excited about the possibilities to capture minds, change hearts and get more people than ever before engaged with the causes that matter most.
Learn how you can start working with AndACTION by visiting their new website: www.AndACTION.org.