Annie Lu Balagot

Balagot manages the negotiation, distribution and execution of NBCU’s multibillion-dollar content portfolio. She’s currently working with the company’s Asian Pacific Americans Employee Research Group to establish a mentoring program, and she believes the commercial success of “Black Panther” and “Crazy Rich Asians” marks a step forward in industry diversity. “Great stories can be successful regardless of the backgrounds of the cast, crew and creators,” she says.

What’s a recent example of a step forward for diversity in the industry?
An example of a step forward for diversity in the industry is the recent commercial success and mass appeal of “Black Panther” and “Crazy Rich Asians” – showing that great stories can be successful regardless of the backgrounds of the cast, crew and creators. Storytelling is an art form that transcends race, gender, age or sexual orientation – and we should continue to encourage finding these gems in all areas and walks of life. But when these stories stop becoming the one-offs and starts becoming the norm, that’s when we know we have truly succeeded.

What’s your best advice to someone just entering the video content/distribution industry?
My advice to those entering the industry is the same advice I’d give any person regardless of gender or race – be true to yourself and don’t be afraid to try. You’ll never succeed if you never try regardless of what challenges you may face.

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