Entertainment Media

Entertainment Media

The Entertainment Media Department spearheads consultations with entertainment industry executives, showrunners, and writers to help them develop more realistic immigrant characters and navigate complex immigration-related storylines with the goal of creating positive and long-lasting cultural change.

For more information, email our  entertainment media team, Kristen and Elizabeth at [email protected].

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media guide

In the LGBTQ movement for cultural acceptance, advocacy groups pressured the media to ensure fair and accurate portrayals in both film and television. Now Define American is following suit by releasing our own Immigrants and Immigration: A Media Reference Guide and Scorecard. It is our hope that these resources will similarly help our national media evolve in their understanding of American immigrants.

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What’s the score?

Thanks to extensive research by The Opportunity Agenda, Define American has compiled a scorecard evaluating immigrant representation on television. Through analysis of TV shows airing from April 14 to June 2016, our scorecard highlights Hollywood’s “blind spot” – fair and accurate depictions of immigrants of color.

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Grey’s Anatomy 

Grey’s Anatomy hosted Define American’s entertainment media department for a writers’ room meeting during the pre-production process.

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Define American Announces Screening Of Film About Syrian Refugees

Define American Consults on Grey’s Anatomy Storyline About an Undocumented Surgeon

Define American Brings Undocumented Art Show to Film Festival

Define American Announces Partnership with Chicago Comedy Powerhouses for Comedy Night

The Define American Film Festival Is Coming To Chicago

NBC’s Superstore

Our team of undocumented consultants met with the minds of NBC’s “Superstore” in the writer’s room. After a leading character is revealed to be undocumented, the creators of the show are forced to deal with the real complexities of our immigration system.

Read the Buzzfeed story


We interview actor and producer Nnamdi Asomugha and discuss how immigrants from Africa respond to anti-blackness in America. His 2017 film “Crown Heights,” distributed by IFC Films and Amazon Studios, tells the story of Colin Warner, an immigrant from Trinidad, who server 20 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

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It's time to move beyond stereotypes of immigrants.

Watch the livestream panel discussion about the role of immigrants in Hollywood moderated by Melissa Harris-Perry, featuring Cristela Alonzo, Jose Antonio Vargas, Kashif Shaikh, April Reign, and Lorraine Ali.

Stories We Tell - How Immigrants are Portrayed in Popular Culture

We are the stories we tell. As Latino, Asian and Middle Eastern immigrants continue to make up the majority of America’s population growth, how can we talk about diversity and inclusion in Hollywood beyond the traditional Black and White lens?

Posted by NowThis Entertainment on Saturday, May 13, 2017

Story Platform

Our immigration story bank serves as a resource for entertainment industry professionals looking to incorporate immigrant characters into their storylines.

Contact us if you use one of our stories as inspiration for your project so that we can notify the appropriate parties: [email protected].

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Define American Film Festival

The Define American Film Festival (DAFF) is an annual cultural event that highlights films about immigration, intersectionality, and the changing American identity with the goal of initiating thought-provoking conversations in communities across the country. Through screenings, panels, and open discussions, we strive to create empathy for people of diverse cultural backgrounds, histories, and worldviews. The impact of these storytelling perspectives becomes tightly woven in the fabric of these communities–and unlike other film festivals, our incorporation of immigrant narratives through the lens of Hollywood plants seeds for a more welcoming America.

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Special Events

The Entertainment Media team hosts special events and panels to encourage dialogue about immigrants and immigration within the entertainment community.

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