CONNECTIONS

Jamaicans in Hollywood 

 

We DeYa! “We are here.”

 

Jamaicans in Hollywood was created to give a voice to Jamaicans in the industry, to promote Jamaican storytelling, and to increase worldwide awareness of the importance of this authenticity. This is our mission. We DeYa! Is our slogan. We are here. We are proud to be Jamaican. And we are ready. 

 

We provide support to Jamaicans (born in Jamaica or with direct Jamaican heritage) in the entertainment industry. Our purpose is to inspire and promote the widespread sharing of genuine Jamaican stories to the entire world through supporting Jamaicans who are acting, writing, or involved in any part of the creation of plays, films, and television shows that present authentic Jamaican experiences. We are actors, writers, producers, directors, designers, casting directors and other critical members of the industry through film, TV, and online offerings. 

 

Authenticity  is more important than ever.  Audiences demand it, and they quickly recognize when authenticity is not present. We don’t just support, we demand that film, TV and online acting roles written for Jamaican characters be filled by authentic Jamaican actors. Evidence that this level of authenticity is needed includes:

 

The authentic Jamaican experience is often misrepresented in film, TV, and online performances due, in part, to non-Jamaican actors relying on stereotypes and inauthentic accents in their performances. Non-Jamaican actors in roles written for Jamaican characters are committing cultural appropriation by portraying the Jamaican experience as a homogenous and stereotypical “Caribbean” experience, perpetrated by decades of Hollywood’s insensitivity to real Jamaicans and real Jamaican experiences.

 

The inauthentic performances of non-Jamaican actors are diluting the authentic Jamaican experience and altering what audiences have come to believe is an authentic Jamaican experience. We can all act with accents – many quite well – but audiences notice when an accent is not authentic, and they can lose trust in the story and the message.

 

One pervasive claim is that there are not enough qualified, talented Jamaican actors to fill roles written for Jamaican characters. This is a false claim. As a Jamaican born and raised actor, I proudly declare that we are the key to telling stories of true Jamaican experiences 

 

We DeYa!

 

Sardia Robinson

President