Sean “Diddy” Combs is speaking his mind in a new interview where he addresses the shortage of Black CEOs at high-level companies while the industry continues to profit from Black culture and other individuals of color who often hit the glass ceiling.
“You have these record companies that are making so much money off our culture, our art form, but they’re not investing or even believing in us. For all the billions of dollars that these black executives have been able to make them, [there’s still hesitation] to put them in the top-level positions,” Combs explained to Variety. “They’ll go and they’ll recruit cats from overseas. It makes sense to give [executives of color] a chance and embrace the evolution, instead of it being that we can only make it to president, senior VP… There’s no black CEO of a major record company. That’s just as bad as the fact that there are no [black] majority owners in the NFL. That’s what really motivates me.”
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The music mogul also believes blockbuster Marvel flick Black Panther proves Black creatives have been overlooked for years.
“Black Panther was a cruel experiment because we live in 2018, and it’s the first time that the film industry gave us a fair playing field on a worldwide blockbuster, and the hundreds of millions it takes to make it.”
In the end, he’s confident that whenever Black people are given a fair shot, not only do we meet, but exceed expectations.
“We only get 5% of the venture capital invested in things that are black-owned — black-owned businesses, black-owned ideas, black-owned IP. You can’t do anything without that money, without resources. But when we do get the resources, we over-deliver.”
Combs went on, “When adidas invests in Kanye and it’s done properly, you have the right results. When Live Nation invests in artists and puts them in arenas the same way U2 would be, you have the right results. Black Panther, Black-ish, fashion; it’s all about access. If you’re blocked out of the resources, you can’t compete. And that’s my whole thing — to be able to come and compete.”
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.