From film and TV to games, Black creators have played a pivotal role in shaping media. For Black History Month, Dream Con is celebrating influential figures who have redefined what it means to be Black in entertainment, from trailblazers to changemakers.
Jordan Peele is a comedian, actor, writer, director, and producer known for his work in sketch comedy, and more recently, the thriller and horror genres. His film Get Out has received numerous accolades, including the Academy Award and Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay and the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture.
Peele’s work has impacted the entertainment industry beyond his box-office success and critical acclaim: His original productions have redefined and pushed the boundaries of the horror genre, not only by blending in elements of humor and sci-fi but consistently featuring Black protagonists, something rarely seen in mainstream horror. He has also used his work to explore social issues like racism and classism, challenging audiences to confront uncomfortable realities.
Recently, Peele announced his partnership with Hideo Kojima at The Game Awards in 2023 and their upcoming horror video game, OD, currently in development at Kojima Productions. We don’t know much about the project yet, but fans expect it to be a terrifying, narrative-driven experience powered by Kojima and Peele’s undeniable innovation in the genre.
Did You Know? Peele has expressed appreciation for anime, citing its influence on his creative projects. In fact, his work Nope pays homage to the classic anime film, Akira.
Matt Owens is a writer and producer acclaimed for his work on the Marvel television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, The Defenders, and Luke Cage. Notably, Owens is also a writer and executive producer for Netflix’s One Piece live-action adaptation, lauded as a surprisingly faithful retelling of the beloved manga. His work on the show has led to its high viewership and extremely positive reception across old and new audiences, proving that creating a successful live-action version of an anime is possible.
Did You Know? Owens’ love of One Piece started when he was 11 years old. He’s read the manga at least three times (so far) and has even started a tradition of watching the “Thriller Bark” arc every Halloween.
Issa Rae is a comedian, actress, writer, and producer renowned for her work in film and television. She has been recognized through prestigious award nominations and received the Glamour Women of the Year Award for Television in 2020.
Issa Rae has long been a champion of diversity and inclusion, with creative projects like Insecure, highlighting the Black woman’s experience and offering a refreshing perspective missing in mainstream media. Additionally, she uses her platform to advocate for increased diversity, inclusion, and equitable representation in Hollywood and leverages her production company, Hoorae Media, to foster diverse talent from underrepresented backgrounds.
More recently, Issa Rae voiced Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and Aunt Charlotte in the animated series Young Love. But today, she remains a role model for aspiring creatives, particularly Black women, in the entertainment industry.
Did You Know? In 2021, Black-owned development studio Glow Up Games launched Insecure: The Come Up, a free-to-play mobile game inspired by Issa Rae’s work.
Check out the featured athletes who have dominated the sports world next!