Laz Alonso encouraged RIDE Con viewers to be fearless. He also discussed the importance of diversity and representation in Hollywood through an intense climate the world is under right now.
“We have to support each other and have each other’s backs,” he said.
He joined Damien Hooper Campbell, chief diversity officer at Zoom, for the panel session titled “Diversity and Images in Business,” which touched on topics such as self-trust, structure and the importance of HBCUs.
Alonso reflected on his new outlook in his career. “I am only going out for projects that serve my community,” he said. “I wasn’t feeling like I was using my art for service.”
Alonso stars in the No. 1 show on Amazon Prime called “The Boys” where he says he can, “Hit some current events and societal issues. I learned as I matured that you have to work based on your own convictions.
“I know my community and I know my audience. You have to be in touch with who you tell your stories to,” he said.
The Howard University graduate touched on the necessity of HBCUs preparing Black creatives for the real world. “HBCUs are so vitally important, when you are surrounded by Black magic, your skin color is not seen as a crutch, it becomes about your skill,” he said.
Alonso also has a solution for bringing more diversity to Hollywood. “We can have more than just one Black person, we need more Black storytellers, more Black people green-lighting shows and we have to do better on the executive side,” he said.