Sean “Diddy” Combs has emerged as one of entertainment’s top moguls with involvement in a number of industries and entities that span music, fashion, liquor, and television. In a cover story for the latest issue of Variety, Combs slams the entertainment industry’s lack of investment in Black creative endeavors, calling Marvel’s Black Panther a “cruel experiment” to illustrate his point.
Speaking with the mogul from his Beverly Hills home, the featured story revealed that Combs had plenty on his mind about how Black entertainment suffers from a lack of investment from funders and the industry at large. It goes in hand with Combs’ past desires of wanting a piece of an NFL team and appears to be a growing focus of passion for him to see the playing field evened out in the film, music, and fashion industries as it relates to Black originators.
“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,” says Combs of hip-hop’s commercial dominance, especially through streaming.
“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. They’ll go and they’ll recruit cats from overseas,” he continues. “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.”
Combs is unsparing about the music business landscape in which he came of age (“There was segregation, as well as blatant racism, and there still is”) and the film business’s baby steps toward inclusion.
“‘Black Panther’ was a cruel experiment,” he maintains, “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.”
With Comb as one of the richest men in America, it’s refreshing to see him take this stance for those who are not blessed with his financial savvy and industry ties.
Read the entire Sean Combs Variety cover story here.