Three’s A Crowd launches podcast for Black creatives

Hex Code Black
Hex Code Black

Hex Code Black will feature open conversations with Black professionals at the intersection of race, culture and the creative workplace.

Three’s A Crowd, an industry advocacy group for Black creative professionals, has launched a podcast for its community called Hex Code Black.

The podcast, which is part of the group’s mission to “create content from an unapologetic Black POV,” will feature Black creatives discussing workplace issues at the intersection of culture and race. The show will also include interviews with scholars, professors, artists and industry outsiders to provide historical, legislative and societal context to the issues discussed on the show.

Hex Code Black, which will air its first episode in October, aims to recreate the watercooler conversations amongst Black people in creative workspaces, said Reonna Johnson, VP, director of growth strategy at Deutsch LA and co-founder of Three’s A Crowd.

“I want this to be a place to heal and to give language to complex topics,” she said. “The industry needs to hear these conversations that we think are very flat, but they are so dynamic. Most Black people have these conversations and thoughts all the time. Other groups of people can say ‘Wow, I'm carrying some of that too.’”

The idea for the podcast came out of Three’s A Crowd “Soul Sessions,” Or monthly meetings where members convene virtually to talk about their workplace experiences. These conversations often evolved into complex social and political topics, Johnson said.

For example, one creative director felt conflicted about working on a cannabis brand, given the complex history between Black people and marijuana criminalization in the U.S. Another member told the group they were not “regular Black,” leading to a deep discussion of what that stereotype means and where it comes from.

Johnson will host the show, which will air bimonthly and feature Three’s A Crowd members from different backgrounds, genders and career stages, alongside guests. The group will get production support from Steelhead, Deutsch LA’s in-house production studio; the agency also pitched in to create the podcast website and sizzle reel.

Hex Code Black, which refers to the hexadecimal format for the color Black, is Three’s A Crowd’s latest initiative against its three pillars: advocating for Black creatives in the industry, supporting Black youth in creative spaces and creating unapologetically Black content.

After George Floyd’s murder last summer, Three’s A Crowd launched In For 13, a pledge to boost Black leadership at agencies to 13% by 2023 (which many signatories have already failed to meet).

A podcast was the right medium for the endeavor because it “captures all of our voices as a collective,” Johnson said.

“This is a vehicle so others can hear us actually talk about topics we talk about, how we feel about things,” she said.

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