Michelle Blackwell is the founder and C.E.O of Blackwell Direction Production Entertainment Group (BDPE Group) which serves as a platform for people of color who have difficultly entering Hollywood.
It is a women-centered, PoC-forward black-owned production company, and creates projects that reflect and amplify these voices. Some of its projects include Law & Motion, Boss Lady, Purple Haze, Reality Divas, and Misunderstood.
The group is also affiliated with Hollywood Backdoor Alliance which provides different types of training in the creative area for individuals who want to enter Hollywood.
Here Are Some Questions We Asked Michelle.
Hello Michelle how are you doing? Welcome to ScreenBinge.com!
Michelle Blackwell: Thank you! I did my homework on you guys, is it do you have a love for Netflix? Is it like everything on Netflix?
Well, we’re a group of individuals spread all over the world …we are all movie junkies! So we thought why not just bring out a website that would be an ultimate streaming solution guide. We love movies, right? So, there’s nothing better than doing what you love!
Michelle Blackwell: Definitely… I understand yeah yes 100%…it’s just very different uh… if you love what you do then you, don’t actually work you just play right? Every day is fun, a challenge and it’s never easy but it’s not like you feel you’re working.
I guess yeah, a lot of times you are doing it for free you would even do it for free for the passion, right? You even do it for free until you can get people to …you know pay… yeah you know what I mean! And for the most part as an artist, you starve for a while or you do other jobs and then you come back to, of course, your passion.
So moving on Michelle, I must tell you that I have immense respect for what you’re doing with the BDPE Group so let’s just start with that… what is it all about? Tell our audience about it?
Michelle Blackwell: Okay so I started BDP entertainment which is Blackwell Development Productions and Entertainment. My last name is Blackwell so it made sense, right? I was in high school when I started it…so it’s like it’s 30 years old now.
I’ve sold things we’ve produced, and faced all kinds of ups and downs…it’s never any one thing you know? what I mean like as a woman of color in Hollywood there’s always somebody saying, you can’t do this. This is a man’s world this is what white guys do… no black kids can’t do that…it’s always something and for me it was I never allowed that.
What was Hollywood like when you started? What kind of issues did you have to face?
Now let me tell you what did drive me away from Hollywood… a lot of the famous names you see also attacked me or harassed me and that made me run away.
This is why I’m such an independent artist because Hollywood was very perverted… there wasn’t anything you could do without somebody going oh… that’s cute, take off your shirt ooh that’s cute let’s get into bed together… come to my hotel… come over my house warming party and then attack you. So, Hollywood was really a bad place.
Exactly! Your organization itself is a great example of the direction in which Hollywood is moving!
Michelle Blackwell: It’s what we do, we bring a lot of women and people of color into the mix and not just in front… a lot of people are thinking yeah get them in front of the camera but what about behind the camera? Yeah make a lot of females… you know, my thing is the empowerment of women and people of color.
And they will continue to bring in other people…we can’t just stop at one or two you know, especially… people of color we can’t just stop there and make them our employees. We have to create bosses and people of color that are bosses…. that’s how you grow!
What is the impact of empowering women? You would know best Michelle?
Michelle Blackwell: Here’s what we say as women… we say as long as you have women in there you’re going to eat… because women make sure that everything is done and that money is made because you don’t eat if you don’t make money, right? So, women make sure that business is taken care of… yeah, all the rest all the partying and dating, and all that comes second.
Michelle, I consider you as a great influence behind and great support behind the #Black Lives Matter movement… is there something you would like to say in specific to the audience and your fans?
Michelle Blackwell: As a person of color when we say black lives matter, we’re not saying anything about other lives, because that’s not the focus. The focus is to stop killing us black people, right? Our lives matter like everybody else’s.
Exactly, of course, all people of color are targeted black people just seem to be targeted for zero reasons. Just because you can’t see my hands, well it doesn’t mean that it has a gun, but for some reason, the cops in America think that. So, we need you to know we do mean black lives matter; it’s a very simple direct statement.
Thank you so much for your time! You must be having a busy day ahead so, I won’t be taking much of your time. Any last words for the viewers?
Michelle Blackwell: Well, the way the company gives back is we give online classes for virtually free like five dollars for the class or something like that so we give, acting classes, producing classes, writing classes and all that kind of stuff you go to hollywoodbackdoor.com is how you get to that but we give these classes.
Check out Michelle’s complete interview, she’s fun to listen to, extremely light-hearted, and states what’s correct without thinking twice!