2nd UPDATE: Freeform has added more panelists to the roster for its upcoming second annual Freeform Summit. Joining previously announced panelists are Luka Sabbat, EJ Johnson, Shaun Ross, Emma Hunton, Kayla Cromer and Dhruv Uday Singh, plus performances by Sofia Carson and Trevor Jackson. A panel breakdown can be found at the bottom of the story.
PREVIOUS UPDATE, Jan. 17: Freeform held its inaugural Freeform Summit last year, and has decided to make it a yearly event. The second annual Freeform Summit will be held Wednesday, March 27 at Goya Studios in Hollywood.
The day-long event will feature talent, executives, showrunners and directors across multiple Freeform series including Good Trouble, grown-ish, Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger, Siren, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, The Bold Type, and the upcoming series Besties, Freeform said in its announcement.
This year’s theme, according to the network, will be a reimagined beauty pageant (“The UnPageant”), providing “a stage for everyone to have a voice and be ambassadors of change.” Panels will address topics including representation, inclusion, authentic storytelling and mentorship.
Panels will include:
Young Adults Keep Ruining Everything
Moderated by: Nischelle Turner (Correspondent, Entertainment Tonight)
2018 was a big year for young adults. From engaging the world in the “Black Lives Matter” movement to challenging gender norms and diversifying the media business, young adults have made their stake in this world as innovators, thought-leaders and changemakers. Yet their reputation in society still gets overshadowed by a disdain for avocado toast, social media frenzy and accusations of laziness. Well, we can have our toast and eat it too. Despite the jeers of entitlement, today’s young adult continues to reshape every industry by using their platforms and savvy to inspire the fight for representation. Join today’s trailblazers in a conversation about redefining the status quo in television, sexuality, art, fashion and more.
• Kenya Barris (Executive Producer, “grown-ish,” “black-ish,” “Unrelated”)
• Luka Sabbat (Star, “grown-ish” and Fashion Influencer)
• Patrisse Khan-Cullors (Co-founder, Black Lives Matter)
• Gigi Gorgeous (Advocate and Author)
• Maia Mitchell (Star and Executive Producer, “Good Trouble”)
• Katie Stevens (Star, “The Bold Type”)
• Samantha Fishbein (Co-founder and COO, Betches Media)
• Hillary Kerr (Chief Content Officer & Co-Founder, Clique Brands)
Why Won’t You Date Me? Attraction Vs. Implicit Bias, On And Off Screen
Moderated By: Tre’vell Anderson (Director of Culture and Entertainment, OUT Magazine)
Black women are more likely than any other demographic to be rejected on a dating app. Meanwhile, Asian men are less than 1 percent of heartthrobs cast on the big screen. Representation for transgender and bisexual relationships is even lower. These dating issues and stereotyped “Prince Charmings” mirror the implicit biases constructed by society. With over 80 percent of rom-coms starring mostly straight, white protagonists and love interests, there’s no doubt that we’ve been culturally conditioned to swoon over “Dawson” and “Pacey” before we ever meet “Aaron” and “Luca.” Join our panel of experts, actors and influencers in a discussion on the importance of diversifying love stories on-screen.
• Diggy Simmons (Star, “grown-ish”)
• EJ Johnson (TV Personality and LGBTQ Activist)
• Shaun Ross (Model, Musical Artist and Dancer)
• Patrick Starrr (Beauty Guru and YouTube Personality)
• Billie Lee (Activist and Host)
• Zuri Adele (Star, “Good Trouble”)
• Dhruv Uday Singh (Star, “Good Trouble”)
• Lala Milan (Actress and Comedian)
Be Whoever The FF You Want
Moderated By: Jessica Radloff (West Coast Editor, Glamour)
It’s 2019. Let’s agree to be done with stereotypes and expectations. It’s time to stop dictating how people should act, who they should love and what they should look like when defining their worth. Luckily, these panelists know exactly how to own a stage, command a room and write some badass characters that challenge the status quo. From motivational IG videos to flipping the superhero stereotype on its head, this panel of fearless forces will discuss how we can find the confidence to fight for what we deserve, know our true worth and level the playing field.
• I. Marlene King (Executive Producer, “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists”)
• Francia Raisa (Star, “grown-ish”)
• Nyle DiMarco (Actor, Model and Activist)
• Aisha Dee (Star, “The Bold Type”)
• Emma Hunton (Star, “Good Trouble”)
• Sherry Cola (Star, “Good Trouble”)
• Aubrey Joseph (Star, “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger”)
• Leyna Bloom (Model, Actor, Dancer and Activist)
A Stage For Everyone—What ‘The UnPageant’ Means To The Future Of Representation
Moderated By: Sesali Bowen (Senior Entertainment Editor, Nylon)
As today’s young adults lead a rebellion against unrealistic standards of beauty, race, sex, gender exclusion and patriarchy, the days of conventional societal standards which judge people based on their performance of traditional “femininity” are becoming obsolete. With the entry of a new generation of changemakers comes a new and more realistic view of what the world actually looks like—on and off screen. Join the fearless titans of today who are striving for a more inclusive tomorrow through fashion, storytelling and activism.
• Sasha Pieterse (Star, “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists”)
• Eliot Laurence (Executive Producer, “Motherland: Fort Salem”)
• Joanna Johnson (Executive Producer, “Good Trouble”)
• Josh Thomas (Star, Executive Producer, “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay”)
• Kayla Cromer (Star, “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay”)
• Avie Acosta (Model)
• Geena Rocero (Producer, Model and Advocate)
• Dexter Mayfield (Performer and Influencer)