At last week’s A Day of Unreasonable Conversation held at The Getty Center, entertainment industry members heard from Hollywood and government leaders with varying cultural perspectives.

 Jill Biden and Halle Berry at A Day of Unreasonable Conversation
Jill Biden and Halle Berry at A Day of Unreasonable Conversation

Through thought-provoking discussions, impactful performances, and, at times, emotional conversations, A Day of Unreasonable Conversation surfaced new perspectives on today’s most complex topics to an audience of television writers, showrunners, and executives. Speakers were vulnerable in sharing stories that often do not get heard and urged the audience of TV creators to incorporate these experiences into their work.

First Lady Jill Biden and Halle Berry candidly discussed formerly taboo women’s health topics such as menopause, emphasizing the need for a new approach to women’s health research. Berry shared a personal story about how she realized that she was going through perimenopause, bringing forth blushes and laughter from the audience. Dr. Biden and Berry urged the audience to write scenes that show women over 40 in their prime and empower their stories.

Paris Hilton was vulnerable in her mental health and loneliness conversation with the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, who shared personal stories about his own need for connection and care. MTV and Paramount’s Sitarah Pendleton-Eaglin moderated the session.

W. Kamau Bell led a wide-ranging discussion about the complexity of race and the entertainment industry with Cord Jefferson, Gloria Calderon Kellett, Jonathan Metzl, and Michele Norris. Kellett discussed the importance of recognizing your own gaps in experience when producing and writing identity-based storylines and characters, as well as her own plight throughout her career in inviting those voices to the table. Jefferson, the Oscar Award-winning director of American Fiction, talked about the importance of taking risks on young talent, and Michelle Norris shared wisdom from her work with The Race Card Project.

“I am proud of what we did this year with A Day of Unreasonable Conversation,” said A Day of Unreasonable Conversation founder Greg Propper of social impact agency Propper Daley. “There were conversations that will help culture creators evolve their positions and find common ground to take collective action. We learned how to create more viable futures – for our planet, for those who have too often received the short end of the stick, and for those of different abilities and resources.”

Other pivotal moments of the day included Jane Fonda introducing a multigenerational discussion about how consumerism impacts climate change. Survivor and author Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, whose new book One Way Out was released this week, shared stories about life after the Kavanaugh hearing with friend and fellow survivor Chanel Miller. Actress and host Yvette Nicole Brown's poignant conversation about being an unpaid caregiver for her father with Alzheimer’s with best-selling author of MAID and CLASS and economic justice advocate Stephanie Land.

“We design A Day of Unreasonable to be challenging,” said Genevieve Roth, founder and CEO of Invisible Hand, the social impact agency that acts as a partner and creative director for the day. “We are living in complicated times, and I see our job as giving the industry access to the best information possible on the forces and issues that are shaping our world right now.”

The day ended with conversations about finding a common political ground. An emotionally charged session with journalist Monica Guzman and her family explored how to discuss political differences without disconnecting. Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Baratunde Thurston discussed how to find compromise on issues and policies with opposite political party members. And two young Republican elected officials, North Dakota State Representative Dawson Holle, and Florida State Senator Alexis Calatayud, spoke about a new kind of Republican.

“It’s a fascinating, frustrating, beautiful day that leaves me with ten thousand new questions – but the intersection and blending of so many ideas and stories gives me so many new ways to approach all my work as a screenwriter, storyteller, and social justice advocate,” said Lynn Renee Maxcy, screenwriter, storyteller, governor at the Television Academy, Chair of the Board for Miry’s List. “We all leave with new friends and so many new resources and frameworks to ask questions, keep doing the research, and hopefully be a part of making our world more beautiful and more radically inclusive for everyone.”

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