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Changing the culture of inclusive storytelling

Ukonwa Ojo and Regina Hall discuss what happens when women tell stories


In this behind-the-scenes chat, Ukonwa Ojo, global chief marketing officer, Prime Video & Amazon Studios sits down with actress and producer Regina Hall to discuss creative storytelling and leadership.

What message do you want the message to hear and act on from your talk?

Regina Hall: The message of really hearing and seeing each other and making sure that we are cultivating audiences that really learn to appreciate diverse storytelling. That we’re allowing them to see it and experience it so that becomes normal.

Ukonwa Ojo: I like that experience of the diverse being normal. Because it is normal, just not in the but just not in the stories that we always see.

In 2021, Ukonwa said “in entertainment you get to tell stories that make people dream, that make them laugh or cry, that make them angry or sad.” How does basing stories in emotion enable us to highlight more inclusive storytellers?

Ukonwa: I think that one of the things I’ve learned as a marketer is that we think we make decisions with our heads, but we actually make decisions with our heart, but we validate it with rationale. Connecting with people emotionally allows us to connect with them from a heart basis and then they’re make some of those changes.

Where does gender play a role in storytelling?

Regina: It’s very important because it adds a different perspective. Energetically. You can get a male or female to direct or non-binary but there are points of view that people have, and I feel like that is somehow is included in the storytelling even if it’s not conscious. It affects how an audience receives things because it’s subtle but it’s gigantic.

Ukonwa: The feminine energy brings something different?

Regina: Oh totally. It is patient, it gives space, room and air.

What is your definition of creativity?

Ukonwa: For me, creativity makes you give a damn. You’re going along your merry way, and someone injects creativity and it makes you pay attention and it breaks you from your monotony. To see things we’ve never seen before, feel things we’ve never seen before.

Regina: Creativity has so many forms. When I watch films, I often think “I would’ve never connected those dots.” It shows up in so many areas where the creative spark exists.

What is the one thing you think the industry should worry about right now?

Ukonwa: Each other. Humanity. I think there’s just so much going on in the world right now and we can’t keep acting like none of it is happening. In the spirit of creativity, and what makes people care, this is the industry that’s going to cause the world to do things differently. We can’t continue the way we’re going right now. This group could chart a different course for us all.

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