Hollywood takes on South African health issues
Friday, September 6, 2013
Hollywood writers, producers and executives visited South Africa in May as part of efforts to inspire more global health storylines on popular US television shows.
The visitors were Karen Tenkhoff, a development partner at Walt Disney Feature Animation who has worked as producing partner with Robert Redford on films including The Horse Whisperer and The Motorcycle Diaries; Carol Barbee, consulting producer on Hawaii Five-O and creator of the medical drama Three Rivers; and John Max Burnett III, creator and executive producer of Nickelodeon’s The Troop.
The group was hosted by Hollywood Health & Society (HH&S), a programme of the Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California, funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Cancer Institute and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
According to HH&S director Sandra de Castro Buffington the programme is a free service to writers and producers of prime time television and daytime soaps. It encourages the accurate portrayal of health issues in popular entertainment by offering story ideas, case studies, expert consultations and briefings on health issues. “Writers always need ideas – that’s why they come to us,” she explained on her recent visit.
- Health Care