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CALL & RESPONSE: Meteor Man & Community Power

Guests include Jeremiah Ellison, Diallo Riddle & Robert Townsend.

Today’s discussion will cover Meteor Man, Defunding the Police, & Community Power. Featuring special guests, Jeremiah Ellison (City Councilman, Minneapolis, MN), Diallo Riddle (Comedic Actor, Writer & Producer), and Robert Townsend (Actor & Director, “Hollywood Shuffle” & “Meteor Man”). Hosted by Baron Vaughn and Open Mike Eagle.


  • The idea of “good will” as currency & the importance of community (Open Mike Eagle & Baron Vaughn)
  • Minneapolis City Councilman Jeremiah Ellison talks about the stark racial disparity in who benefits from resources in Minneapolis despite such a uniquely strong sense of community
  • How Minneapolis City Councilman Jeremiah Ellison found out about George Floyd’s murder through a friend’s online post & was initially informed that Floyd wasn’t dead
  • The process of defunding the Minneapolis Police, the community’s involvement, expanding existing social services, and re-evaluating which police calls actually need force, and using Camden, New Jersey as a case study (Jeremiah Ellison)
  • Lessons we can take from how Minneapolis is listening to their community and changing policies accordingly & how Minneapolis can inspire other communities (Jeremiah Ellison)
  • Hollywood stereotypes, how they play out and hurt people in real life (“If you only see ‘scary Black man’ on TV, how are you going to act in real life?” - Diallo Riddle)
  • Comedian Diallo Riddle on how building a community of comedy creators has led to the best material
  • Diallo Riddle’s advice: if you’re an actor, become a writer so you can write the parts Hollywood is missing
  • Why Diallo Riddle believes creators will emerge from quarantine better and stronger
  • Comedian Diallo Riddle talks about hiring people from the south side of Chicago to make his TV show, “South Side” authentic
  • Comedian Diallo Riddle talks about how “Sherman’s Showcase” was influenced by Robert Townsend’s “Partners In Crime” and the importance of putting your work in the right hands
  • Robert Townsend discusses shutting down the set of “Meteor Man” when the 1992 LA riots started in response to the Rodney King verdict
  • The importance of community in “Meteor Man” and how new leaders are carrying that mantle through the activism we see today (Robert Townsend)
  • The recent removal of the “Aunt Jemima” logo and other racially inventive images, the re-evaluation of films like Gone With The Wind that contained inaccurate and racist Black stereotypes, and if this racial sensitivity will continue once the protesting calms (Robert Townsend)
  • How the portrayal of Black people in media and entertainment shapes peoples’ perception and expectations in real life, and the changes that we’re seeing to those perceptions (Robert Townsend)
  • How to balance being funny while creating content with deeper meaning and the importance of tone (Robert Townsend)
  • Robert Townsend discusses what it was like directing “Eddie Murphy Raw”
  • Robert Townsend talks about being a Dad in real life and “being a Dad” on television & teaching life lessons through “The Parent ‘Hood”
  • What gave Robert Townsend the courage to start making films with no training & how easy access to cell phone cameras makes it easier for creators to create



Robert Townsend on the portrayal of Black people in media shapes perception in real life

Diallo Riddle explains his community-based approach to making comedy content

City Councilman Jeremiah Ellison explains working toward defunding the police in Minneapolis

How Robert Townsend started making films with no training


Jeremiah Ellison ? City Councilman, Minneapolis, MN

Twitter: @jeremiah4north

Facebook: @jeremiahellisonformpls

Christian Science Monitor via Ge

Diallo Riddle ? Comedic Actor, Writer & Producer

Instagram: @diallo

Twitter: @diallo

Facebook: @DialloRiddle

AFP via Getty Images

Robert Townsend ? Actor & Director, “Hollywood Shuffle” & “Meteor Man”

Instagram: @iamroberttownsend

Twitter: @Robert_Townsend

Call & Response is a new show designed to respond to the changes and activism of our time. Each day, Baron and Mike will invite their favorite Black creators — activists, comedians, musicians, actors, visual artists, and more — to riff on current events, discuss the present momentum, and speak about their work and struggles.