And Expands The Conversation Around Gender Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion.
Bill Duke (center) with the Created Equal cast: (L to R) GregAlan Williams, Susan LaBrecque, Lou Diamond Phillips, Yohance Myles, Aaron Tveit and Edy Ganem
Directed by Bill Duke and produced by T-Cat Films, the story of Created Equal does its part to challenge history and tradition. Relatable to the current social climate, Created Equal extends the conversation of diversity, inclusion and gender equality, touching upon all three, but beginning first with the cultural/ethnic diversity of its cast: Aaron Tveit (Les Misérables, Graceland, Grease Live), Edy Ganem (Lifetime’s Devious Maids), veteran actors Lou Diamond Phillips (La Bamba Longmire), GregAlan Williams (OWN’s Greenleaf, Baywatch), and Yohance Myles (Shots Fired).
Based on the novel written by Roger A. Brown, who also serves as executive producer of the film, Created Equal gives a voyeuristic view of the stained-glass ceiling that exists for women in the Catholic Church without actually taking sides and explores how having a higher purpose can be life-changing. It follows the story of Thomas “Tommy” Reilly (Tveit), a cocky, up-and-coming attorney, who begrudgingly takes on a case for Sister Alejandra “Allie” Batista (Ganem), a devout Catholic who feels called to serve God as a priest. Against his supervisor's wishes, Tommy files suit against the Archdiocese of New Orleans for gender discrimination without justifiable cause. As the trial unfolds, an extremist concocts a plot to stop the heresy against the church. Tommy’s faith and conviction are tested and he’s challenged to question his purpose. As a result, he begins the transformation from an egotistical, arrogant person, to one who is committed to a mission larger than his own.
Thada Catalon, Created Equal producer and owner of T-Cat Films, shares that the decision to make the cast culturally diverse was intentional, “In today’s climate it’s more important that Hollywood make the types of films that help unite the country and encourage conversations around diversity, inclusion and gender equality. Created Equal is fortunate to have a cast that represents every ethnicity in our cultural mosaic.” She suggests, “To create an equitable society and fight against negative mentalities that encourage discord, like what we’re seeing in Charlottesville, Hollywood needs to take lead. It is so important that people see themselves represented in films; especially ones like Created Equal whose cast represents the diversity of America.”
Until we get to a point where an Imagen Award or a NAACP Image Award is no longer necessary, the industry can use films like Created Equal to reflect the melting pot of our society, proving how diversity harmonizes our world and allows us to work together for the greater good!
For more information on Created Equal, visit www.CreatedEqualMovie.com.
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