Banff Sets “Provocative” Diversity Panels Featuring ‘Schitt’s Creek’ Star Emily Hampshire & Disney Development Director

Emily Hampshire

Aneka Hylton-Donelson / Emily Hampshire Banff World Media Festival

EXCLUSIVE: The Banff World Media Festival has set panels on the “mass exodus of Black women executives in Hollywood” and LGBTQ+ representation, featuring the likes of Schitt’s Creek star Emily Hampshire and a Disney Development Director.

With the fest just around the corner, Banff has added two panel sessions that it says will be “provocative” and have been sparked by “the retreat of DEI and LGBTQ+ representation” in the industry.

Over the past year, diversity bosses at the likes of Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros. Discovery and the BBC have exited, fuelling concerns that the gains made after the Black Lives Matter protests are being chipped away amid global recession.

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The ‘Beyond the Backlash’ panel will feature Disney/Nat Geo Director of Development Aneka Hylton-Donelson, Elizabeth Founder Jeanell English and Karen Horne, the founder of the Karen Horne Company. The trio will address the “mass exodus of Black women executives from major Hollywood studios” as diversity efforts wane. They will tackle tricky questions on how to not only increase awareness but also change attitudes so that entertainment studios can see their bottom lines improve in tandem with diversity gains.

Elsewhere, the annual Rockies fest has added a talk on LGBTQ+ representation with the likes of Schitt’s Creek star Hampshire. Hampshire will be joined by General Hospital actor Cassandra James, writer Alexander Nunez and Michelle Mama, a producer and the co-founder of Gay Agenda, to ponder over how to cultivate environments where trans and non-binary individuals feel a sense of belonging on set. The panel will come as Banff unveils the first-ever 2024 Pink Paper, which will be revealed by Pink Triangle Press.

Banff will feature talks from the likes of Warner Bros. Television Group Chairman and CEO Channing Dungey, Fox Entertainment boss Rob Wade and CBS Entertainment President Amy Reisenbach. The 45th annual confab in the Rockie Mountains will take place from June 9 to 12.

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