Why Television? An Interview with Neil Wade

Neil Wade, Production Coordinator on The Fairly OddParents joined my class to talk about his experiences in television. He has also worked as a Production Assistant at Family Guy and as an intern on Dora the Explorer. Neil graduated with a degree in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis and talks about his transition to television as he chased a passion for animation.

Unfortunately, the interview is cut short due to technical difficulties. So I suppose we will just have to bring him back in the fall!

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This Week in Unnecessary Censorship on Delta Airlines

I flew from JFK to LAX this week and, instead of doing work, decided to watch movies that were available for free in my Delta In-Flight Entertainment. I watched the new Riddick (2013) starring Vin Diesel, and Pain and Gain (2013) starring (Marky) Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson. Both action movies were expletive ridden, and rife with all the trappings of hegemonic masculinity, including objectification of women, rape jokes, and homophobia; Pain and Gain even featured a graphic strip club scene with bare breasts, thongs, and simulated sex. Although somewhat offensive, it was not unexpected.

What was unexpected was the unnecessary censorship in first scene of Lee Daniels’ The Butler. After a young slave master rapes a slave woman, her husband stands up to the rapist and is shot in the head in front of his 10-year-old son. As the boy cries over his dead father, the woman of the house played by Vanessa Redgrave takes pity on the boy and tells him, “I’m going to teach you how to be a house…”

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My Girl Code.

Your emotions are not wrong. Your emotions are valid, important, and essential to who you are. However, because women are stereotyped as unable to manage their emotional excesses (the word “hysteria” is derived from the Greek for uterus), you must find a way to express your emotions in a manner that is not emotional.

My advice to a young female journalist who interviewed me for her HS newspaper about HBO’s Girls, MTV’s Girl Code, and the current state of feminism among young women as it is represented in media. When the interview was over, she asked me to give my own bit of “girl code.”

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Accepted at ICA 2014 Digital Divide Preconference in Seattle

Health communication and the digital divide: The role of display resolution on eHealth intervention effectiveness.

Advances in new media have drastically altered health communication (Cassell, Jackson, & Cheuvront, 1998Abroms, Schaivo, & Lefebvre, 2008), but the effectiveness of eHealth interventions may depend upon platform and hardware access (Bennett & Glasgow, 2009). The current research investigates how display resolution predicts the effectiveness of an immersive, interactive intervention designed to increase condom use among Men who have Sex with Men (MSM); this virtual hookup was designed to replicate real world sexual encounters, during which they received messages modeling safe sex strategies. Participants (N = 268), aged 18-24, reported the frequency of unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) in the 3 months prior to the intervention and in the 3 months following. After controlling for age, education, and city size, regression analyses reveal that screen pixels significantly predicted a reduction in UAI after engaging with the intervention (ß = -2.252, ∆R2 = .126, p < .001); greater resolution resulted in a more effective intervention. Immersion and presence and their role as mediators of persuasion and behavior change will be discussed. Zickuhr & Smith (2012) have demonstrated that increases in mobile devices (e.g., smartphones, laptops) minimize the digital divide, but this increase is accompanied by a decrease in desktop computer use, thus affecting engagement with immersive content. The current research suggests that the psychological effectiveness of immersive technology, including eHealth interventions, depends on the hardware through which it is accessed. Unfortunately, the digital divide may continue to replicate traditional differences in health care despite increased connectivity and increased access.

Corsbie-Massay, C.L., Christensen, J.L., Godoy, C., Miller, L.C., Appleby, P.R., & Read, S.J. (May 2014). Health communication and the digital divide: The role of display resolution on eHealth intervention effectiveness. Presented at International Communication Association Preconference: Digital Divide Research. Seattle, WA.

See you in Seattle!

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“You should get married:” The acceptability of beneficial bigotry.

After last week’s interview with Larry Wilmore, which was undoubtedly one of the highest points in my career, an elderly Black man approached me. I recognized him; we sat at the same table at the MLK Celebration at Syracuse in January. He was bent over and depended on a cane. He wore glasses and spoke softly. When he said hello, I smiled and bent in to hear him in the noisy auditorium. He asked me if I planned to get married this year. He then proceeded to give me a very personal sermon about why, on the 85th birthday of Dr. King, I should be focused on getting married in the next year. According to Psalm 85, “Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other,” and I should focus on this meeting. I begin looking for the most respectful way out.

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A Conversation with Larry Wilmore

At the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Check out the live tweets via Storify, or using #CommsLeaders. Stay tuned for video!

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