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Identity & Inclusion: LGBTQ Representation in Television


Saturday, June 22 12:45pm -
Fries Theater | BUY TICKETS 60m

PANELISTS: Kit Williamson (Creator, EastSiders), John Halbach (Executive Producer, EastSiders), Zuri Adele (Actor, Good Trouble), Ann Thomas (Founder, Transgender Talent LLC), Ser Anzoategui (Actor, East Los High, Vida), Valerie Stadler (Co-Founder, Big Swing Productions)

Presented In Partnership with SAG-AFTRA

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, which sparked a revolution for the LGBTQIA Community. This milestone highlights the importance of acknowledging the nature of sexual orientation, gender identity and how we move forward culturally with an elevated understanding of diversity and inclusion. As the television landscape continues to evolve, so does the conversation around representation of the LGBTQIA Community. Join us for a in-depth conversation with entertainment industry panelists, including managers, writers, producers, and actors who are leading the charge and innovating diversity standards.



Kit Williamson is the creator of the Emmy-nominated LGBT series EastSiders, which is now in its third season on Netflix worldwide, translated into more than 30 languages. He is also known for playing the recurring role of Ed Gifford on the final two seasons of Mad Men, and starring in the viral hit web series Hipsterhood. He's developed projects for CBS, MTV Studios, Superdeluxe and Legendary Entertainment and is fun at parties. 


John Halbach is an Emmy-nominee both for playing "Ian" and serving as Executive Producer on EastSiders. He's also on the marketing team at Q.Digital, the company behind Queerty, GayCities, and LGBTQ Nation, where he has created content and produced events for: Lexus, Will & Grace, Explore Canada, Netflix, Visit Britain, New Orleans, and Visit Seattle. 


Zuri Adele is most well-known for her portrayal of Malika on Freeform’s Good Trouble (acclaimed millennial spinoff of The Fosters). Having grown up in both the Bay Area and Brooklyn, and studying at Spelman before her MFA training at UCLA, intersectionality, identity, and inclusion are at the forefront of her artistry. As a queer woman of acknowledged African Descent working on a series that reflects and celebrates the LGBTQIA community, Zuri is excited to dig deeper in these conversations as we continue to pave the way for more inclusivity in front of and behind the scenes of episodic storytelling.


Ann Thomas is a talent manager and producer. Ann started Transgender Talent LLC, a talent management company for transgender and non-binary actors in 2015, after appearing in the historical episode of Glee that featured the 197 member transgender choir. The company manages over 60 actors currently, with several that are becoming very high visibility. Ann’s rising star client is Zach Barack, who was cast last year as a school friend of Peter Parker’s, and is in the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home, in theaters world-wide the first week of July. Zach has lines and was gone for months shooting this, and as a result is in many scenes of the movie. Ann also manages Jeffrey Marsh, who is one of the highest visibility non-binary motivational speakers, authors, and actors on the planet, with over 350 million views of their videos on social media. Ann is a full producer on multiple properties in development with Mark Wolper, of Wolper Organization (producers of ROOTS). Ann has been working with them for about two years, learning how to create pitches to the networks, including the streamers. Ann helped with casting To Be Me, the web series produced by Amanda Dash and Daan Jansen (both producers of the Bachelor/Bachelorette), and starring Emmy winning actor Kim Estes. Ann facilitated getting To Be Me onto the Revry network. Helped develop and cast 50 of the 72 transgender person audience and speakers on HLN’s Dr. Drew Show special episodes, “Transgender In America”, aired August 26 and 27, 2015. These episodes won the Social Issues Award at the 2016 International Television and Film awards in New York. 


Ser Anzoategui is a non-binary Latinx/Chicanx actor/playwright/artivist with the gender pronoun 'They/Them/Theirs.' OAnzoategui wrote and performed at Rio Hondo College from 1999-2004 and graduated from LMU with a BA in Communication and Fine Arts and a theatre major in 2005. Anzoategui’s highly successful theatre recognition led to being cast in a recurring guest star role on Hulu's Emmy® nominated “East Los High” as the openly queer character Daysi Cantu. Following “East Los High ” Anzoategui landed additional roles on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend ” “The Fosters ” “Shameless ” and other projects. They appeared as themselves on LATV's “Latino 101."


Valerie Stadler started her career as a producer, co-founding Fat Chance Films where she developed the play Prey for Rock & Roll, which was adapted into a feature film starring Drea de Matteo and Gina Gershon (Sundance 2003). She developed and co-produced Cavedweller  for Showtime starring Kyra Sedgwick and Aidan Quinn (2004 Spirit Awards nominee).
Her past films include LIFE OF A KING starring Cuba Gooding Jr (LAFF 2013)
and Sunset Stories (SXSW 2011) which also marked her debut as a screenwriter. She produced and co-directed the feature documentary Fallen Star: Finding Home about the site specific installation piece by artist Do Ho Suh, which had its LA Premiere at MOCA in June, 2016 and its NY premiere at Whitney Museum, October, 2017.
Stadler was the head of Production and Development for Fluency, a multi platform studio under NBCU Hispanic Enterprises. With Fluency she Executive Produced several films, including FAT CAMP which had its world premiere at LAFF, 2017 and sold to BET.
In winter 2017 Valerie Stadler along with partners Kyra Sedgwick and Meredith
Bagby formed, Big Swing. Committed to celebrating new heroes and amplifying
bold voices, by focusing on stories with heart and purpose, we believe that when talent meets opportunity, magic happens. We all deserve the chance to take a BIG SWING.

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