Variety Magazine joins forces with ICON MANN as Media Partner; 

SAG-AFTRA and The Black List join for ICON MANN Special Panel Sessions on 2/17

LOS ANGELES (February 10, 2015) – ICON MANN has announced an addition to its Award Season Celebrations of Black Men with two special panel sessions titled The ICON MANN Sessions, to be held at the SAG-AFTRA National Headquarters in Los Angeles. “The response to ICON MANN has been tremendous. Thanks to the community of Black Men of Influence in entertainment, business and art we have had tremendous success in three short years. Now being able to present a broader inclusion platform, as we are doing with this series of panel discussions is amazing,” says Tamara N Houston, Founder/CEO. Coming on board for the debut of The ICON MANN Sessions are SAG-AFTRA, The Black List, and our new Media Partner Variety Magazine.

"The ICON MANN Sessions are designed to support crucial conversations about black filmed entertainment. This is a meaningful addition to the critical dialogue about inclusion, opportunity and diversity and I'm excited to take part," said SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White.

The first panel, “The Evolution of Character,” will focus on the characterizations of how Black Men have been represented in film and television; past, present and future character. The Panel will be moderated by David P. White, SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and will feature actors David Oyelowo (Selma, A Most Violent Year), casting director Robi Reed, Creator/Writer Kenya Barris (ABC’s Blackish) and Oscar winning actor Louis Gossett Jr. (An Officer and A Gentleman, Book of Negroes). “I have been a part of the ICON MANN family since its inception. Supporting positive dialogues and encouraging broader awareness into what we do as men, as Creatives (actors, producers, executives) specific to the Black Diaspora is a founding principle. I am glad this year we are expanding to a broader inclusion panel discussion,” says acclaimed actor David Oyelowo."

The second panel, “Black Book Value” will focus on the true international value of minority helmed films; deciphering fact from fiction. The panel is hosted and will be moderated by Franklin Leonard, co-Founder of The Black List. Featured on the panel will be Charles King (Founder of Marco Ventures and former WME partner), Jeremy Kleiner (Co-President of Production for Plan B) and more to be announced. “There's a real cognitive dissonance to the international superstardom of folks like Will Smith and Denzel Washington and the - flawed in my opinion - conventional wisdom that black people don't sell abroad. This is a conversation that is long overdue. It's exciting tha ICON MANN is facilitating conversations like this at such a high level, and I'm honored to be a part," says Leonard.

The ICON MANN panels are at 11am and 2pm on 2/17, respectively, and will be held at the SAG-AFTRA National Headquarters.  The panels are open to invited Industry guild members as well as students from both UCLA and USC Performing Arts Programs.



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