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A Need For Representation On And Off Camera, Costume Designer Ruth E. Carter Discusses Supporting POC Creatives




Ruth E. Carter accepts the Costume Design award for 'Black Panther' onstage during the 91st Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 24, 2019 in Hollywood, California.
Ruth E. Carter accepts the Costume Design award for 'Black Panther' onstage during the 91st Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 24, 2019 in Hollywood, California.
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Part of what brings a movie to life are the costumes. That’s where costume designer Ruth E. Carter comes in. A celebrated costumer in the entertainment industry, Carter has achieved a storied career with over 40 film credits and multiple accolades to her name.

She’s built a name for herself as one of Hollywood’s most respected costume designers. Her talent to envision designs that reflect  and match different time periods and genres can be seen in movies like “Do The Right Thing,” “Amistad,” “Selma,” and “Dolemite Is My Name.” She was the first African American woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design for her work in Spike Lee’s “Malcom X” in 1993. She eventually won the award in 2019 for the Marvel film “Black Panther”, and became the first African American woman to do so. Despite the success she found in her career, she recognized that as a woman of color, there wasn’t much representation in front of and behind the camera.

She understood that people like her aren’t offered the same opportunities as some of her other colleagues in the industry and she was lucky enough to work on projects that helped move her career forward. Now with the platform she has, she wants to help support and mentor POC creatives, and hopes that with this new wave of social change, there will be more chances for POC creators to work on different projects and demonstrate their talent. We preview John Horn's conversation with Carter that he did for the podcast “Hollywood, The Sequel” where they talked about how she imagines production costumers will be able to go back to work safely and what she hopes this era of social change will bring for the film industry.

Guest: 

Ruth E. Carter, Oscar-winning costume designer whose film credits include “Do The Right Thing,” “Malcom X,” “Amistad,” and “Black Panther”