Keke Palmer Wants to Fix What’s Wrong With Television Today With KeyTV

in Entertainment, Movies & TV

keke palmer and daniel kaluuya in jordan peele's nope

Credit: Universal

Keke Palmer and Amazon have decided to work together to bring more jobs to young hopefuls who want to start in the entertainment industry.

Jobs in television and movies are hard to come by. For starters, everybody wants them – especially in America, our culture is dominated, in part, by what’s on TV and what’s in theaters, and that kind of influence spurs many young creatives to aspire to a career in the film and broadcast arts.

The problem is that these fields are already oversaturated – especially right now, with the current economic downturn and streamers working hard to offload underperforming content while going all-in on already-successful IP.

That’s not all, though. The thematic issues are easy enough to critique from the outside, but other, more persistent issues will be tougher to address.

The Problem With The TV Industry: Unpaid Internships, No Support or Opportunities For Newbies

busy news room keke palmer says there aren't enough opportunities for young people in tv keytv
Credit: Unsplash

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In addition, because so many baby boomers are working past retirement age, and their generation is already outsized compared to the rest of the population, many positions that would normally open up as internal changes occur remain filled.

On top of simple oversaturation, there is a much larger, more immediate problem in television today: Most positions at large corporations that would, years ago, have been considered entry-level are now becoming unpaid internships that no writer could support themselves on.

All of this combines to create an atmosphere prohibitive to young TV and film professionals hopeful of cracking into the industry, especially those without established connections or generational wealth to support them.

This is likely part of why so many shows and movies these days are receiving complaints that they are stale or too formulaic – new minds with new ideas have, overwhelmingly, not been permitted to join the conversation.

keke palmer and daniel kaluuya in jordan peele's nope
Credit: Universal

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Part of the reason for this may also be that TV networks today feel the stakes are higher. It is important to remember how relatively new TV is as an industry – before the 1960s; it was considered a massive luxury to even own a television. In those days, it was more forgivable for programming to seem amateurish or experimental – there was no form to break from.

As each generation has passed, there have come to be more expectations, and thus more chances for someone new to the business not to know what they’re doing. There simply aren’t as many jobs out there that are good for the kind of mentorship new television professionals need and deserve.

That is where Keke Palmer comes in.

Palmer has been in the television industry since childhood, from Akeelah and the Bee to True Jackson VP. 

Now, after having starred in Jordan Peele’s latest horror flick Nope and making a name for herself in podcasting and music, Palmer has become CEO of KeyTV, which she wants to use to “democratize the industry.”

Keke Palmer Strikes a Deal With Amazon Studio Head Live at Cannes

Keke Palmer
Credit: ABC

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As she told Amazon Studio’s Global Head of DEIA Latasha Gillespie at a Cannes panel, she wants to ensure young people, especially people of color, know that “you don’t have just to be the person in front of the camera. We need more people behind the camera.

These are good jobs a lot of kids don’t have the resources to understand, so we try to lift the veil. And give them opportunities they would not otherwise have.”

Palmer wanted to make it abundantly clear that KeyTV is “not for people who’ve been doing it for years,”

“This is for kids coming out of school. We want to hold their hand and give them opportunities.”

This will undoubtedly make KeyTV an incredibly attractive prospect for talented young writers and filmmakers, who usually have nothing but internships to sort through when they graduate. Palmer will likely have her pick of the cream of the crop – which will certainly make KeyTV an outlet to keep an eye on in the coming years.

Gillespie thinks so too, as she announced to Keke Palmer live in front of the press:

“I want to partner with you on that.” 

She said, “We can create spaces and opportunities to change these kids’ lives.”

We’ll have to watch for the official announcement of some kind of contract between Amazon and KeyTV, but one thing is certain: The future looks bright for Keke Palmer and all the young artists she’s about to employ.

Do you think KeyTV is filling a necessary void, or will it just create more static in a world saturated with entertainment options? Drop your opinion in the comments below.

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