Leading advertising trade magazine Adweek named writer and director Dee Rees to their second annual Disruptors list—a celebration of women who are not only shattering the glass ceiling but advancing the cause of diversity and inclusion. Not satisfied with the status quo, the 39 executives, entrepreneurs and innovators featured have taken the lead, upending existing power dynamics while breaking down one barrier after another in advertising, media, marketing and technology.
Adweek highlighted Rees’s historic Oscar nomination–she was the first black woman to be nominated for best adapted screenplay for Mudbound; and her DP Rachel Morrison (also a 2018 Disrupter) became the first woman to be nominated for Cinematography. As Adweek explains, Rees gave a nod to those accomplishments in her gorgeous Samsung spot that aired on Oscar night—and she made a point of hiring women for her commercial crew, too.
“I’m just continually hiring talented black and brown people and LGBTQ people and women that are interesting and trying to give them access,” says Rees, “to let my productions be a first stepping-stone ‘in’ to an industry that’s not welcoming—especially if you’re standing at the intersection of many ‘isms.’”
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