Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Q&A Got a Little Crazy

Last week I wrote a lovely little blog post (Center for American Progress examines How to Keep the Fuel of Creation and Innovation Burning) for my blog at and in trying to keep it short and sweet, I left out some of the juicier bits...

Things got testy during the Q&A. In the post on, I mentioned how someone in the audience took one of the panelists to task for what he viewed as an inconsistency (talking about creativity and speaking out against internet piracy.

What I didn't mention was a woman who asked about what could be done to stop creativity from being stifled in 'go along to get along' corporate America. I was looking forward to the response from the panelists and was rather surprised when they shot the woman down. They completely disagreed with her assessment and cited personal examples of why this simply was not so. According to them there was plenty of creativity in corporate America and corporate America (or at least the movie studio one panelist mentioned) is open to it.

Um...what? They seemed to be more than a little removed from average American life...corporate America is exactly as the woman described and even if they don't deal with this on a daily basis, haven't they at least watched The Office?

Then, after the panelists displayed how they were out of touch, it was time for an audience member to do so. The panel and the moderator were very put off by a frustrated woman who asked 'if any black people would be able to ask a question'? Because she interjected so strongly as they were choosing some other person to ask a question, she was given the floor. As is often the case, she had been trying to get their attention and got more and more frustrated as other were chosen...but I didn't think it was because she was black.

Once again the focus was on corporations...the woman went on a little rant. The moderator, who had been extremely ruffled that race had been thrown into the mix in such a startling (and unfair) way, tried to smooth things over, asking if she had an actual question. The woman then asked a question that no one could answer: When will corporations be more fair?

The panelists shook their heads and one muttered, "I think she just wanted to be speak."

He was right and it was unfortunate that she let her frustration build to the point where she was ineffective because people were dismayed at the method she used to gain their attention.

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