Robin Roberts Talks Activism, Storytelling, Gloria Gaynor Movie


Robin Roberts, the Good Morning America anchor, says there’s a silver lining in the current entertainment industry turmoil.

“I know there’s a lot of uncertainty right now in the industry, and we’re all experiencing it. I just look at that meaning there are endless possibilities. We have endless possibilities with the production company,” Roberts said during a keynote address at the Banff World Media Festival on Sunday.

Besides her day job with the ABC morning show, Roberts is also president of her own production banner, Rockin’ Robin Productions. And she’s at Banff to drum up business for her production company, as well as receive the A&E Inclusion Award at the Rockie Awards gala.

Roberts said her production company aims to create content to encourage greater diversity and inclusivity that isn’t found elsewhere. “We have this motto that we want to create storytelling that creates a reaction that leads to action,” she explained.

An example is responding to new educational standards in Florida and othe U.S. states that have rewritten the history of American Blacks. “When things are taken out of the schools, some history is being rewritten, to be able to do pieces for The History Channel, to enlighten people about history” is a goal of Rockin’ Roberts Productions, she explained.

The Good Morning America anchor also talked about her father, Colonel Lawrence Roberts, and his legacy as an original Tuskegee Airman. “I didn’t realize how young they were. I didn’t realize my father was a teenager. He was 19 years old,” Roberts recalled of research she did for The Great War, an event series she did for The History Channel.

Roberts added a lesson she has learned in the indie production game after her years as an athlete is to surround yourself with skilled colleagues, rather than do the job yourself. And as a top flight interviewer, Roberts said she has confidence, but isn’t afraid to admit ignorance.

“When I don’t know something, I’m not afraid to say I don’t know,” she conceded during her keynote address in Banff. Roberts added after recent newsmaking interviews with Brittany Griner, a pro women basketball player who was released from prison in Russia, and Regina King, who opened up as a mother about the death of her son, that her goal is to allow people to discuss difficult issues and memories without getting their guard up.

“I want to give them a safe place,” Roberts said. She also gave an update on her upcoming Lifetime biopic about Gloria Gaynor and who will play onscreen America’s “Queen of Disco.”

“We’re still trying to find out who we’re gonna get to play her. She’s having a lot of say and she’s very grateful and hands-on and trusting of Rockin’ Roberts Productions and Lifetime because she was very, very protective” of her life story, Roberts said.



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