What can the entertainment industry do to better fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic—particularly in reaching African Americans and those at higher risk for the virus? That was the topic of a panel discussion held in Los Angeles on the eve of World AIDS Day. The event was cohosted by the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) and the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).
You can watch the entire discussion below, including an address from Elizabeth Taylor’s granddaughter, Naomi Wilding, who is an ETAF ambassador.
ETAF’s Joel Goldman moderated the panel, which included Tarell Alvin McCraney, playwright and author of In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue and the story writer for the much-lauded film adaptation Moonlight; Chandi Moore, HIV and trans activist and mentor on I Am Cait; actors David Arquette and Jaime Pressly; Neal Baer, MD, television writer and producer; and HIV/AIDS expert Michael Gottlieb, MD.
Gottlieb, an AIDS pioneer, said television played a huge role at the beginning of the epidemic and that it could play a role in ending it. He also noted that today about 40 percent of new infections occur in the African-American community, reports Deadline.com about the panel.
Moonlight writer McCraney, whose mother died of AIDS-related illness, noted that if you Google “AIDS and movies,” you’ll find that most films are about white people.
Wilding stressed that the entertainment industry is uniquely able to engage and educate, but, as transgender activist Moore added, the entertainment factor often wins out over other priorities.