We are in a moment of tectonic culture shifts: the intersection of climate catastrophe, a global pandemic, racial reckoning, economic crisis. It is a moment of extreme hardship—but also of infinite creative possibility.
As the world is rapidly changing, so is the entertainment industry. Demands for gender and racial equity echo across studios and writing rooms. Workers are standing up against entrenched, exploitative practices, demanding better conditions. Creatives are declaring “enough,” “me too,” and “time’s up.”
The narrative of extractive capitalism has been the norm: we are all familiar with the story that some bodies—human bodies; animal bodies; forest, mountain, and ocean bodies—can be exploited for the benefit of a few privileged human bodies, leading to the concentration of wealth and power. We blindly accept the story that we are separate from each other and from Earth.
These are the stories that have created our reality. But they are finally being toppled.
This moment is a challenge to writers and other creatives in Hollywood to help shape a new reality. To disrupt oppressive narratives by including stories of all people: Indigenous people, Black people, and communities of color, youth, queer people, women, and elders—the people who are most impacted by climate chaos and who are urging us to imagine and enact bold solutions now. The natural world needs us to be bold too. We need stories to help us understand and care for our ecosystems and other species.
What a powerful moment to be a writer!
These are the big questions: How do we tell new and great stories in the age of climate change? How do we honestly and authentically write about what it’s like to live in the world right now? How do we write with radical imagination? With courage?
This Playbook will set you on a path to answering these questions in your own writing, and it will invite new questions for us all to explore together. We know you’re up for this creative challenge, and so are we. This is not something you need to do alone.
You hold the privilege and the power to change our story to one where we survive this crisis together.
Favianna Rodriguez and Layel Camargo