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Graziadio Alumna and Pixar Vice President Britta Wilson Featured on MSNBC

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In honor of Women’s History Month, MSNBC is “Celebrating HER-STORY” highlighting women who are making important contributions. When Pixar was developing the 2020 film Soul, the creative team sought & partnered closely with  Britta Wilson (EdD '16, EMBA '92), Pixar Animation Studios’ Vice President, Inclusion & Outreach, to help present Pixar’s first African American protagonist in a thoughtful  & representative manner,  without playing into troupès and stereotypes. 

Wilson accomplished this by building an internal “Cultural Trust” composed of the studio’s Black employees representing various professions and lived experiences. They were tasked with reviewing characters, art, etc. to help tell the story of Soul as authentically as possible. In a recent interview with MSNBC’s Symone Sanders-Townsend, Wilson recounted her experience on the production. 

“When it was determined that [Soul’s main character] Joe was going to be an African-American…what we knew immediately was that we had to provide the scaffolding and support,” Wilson said to Sanders-Townsend. “[My single goal was] to make sure that Joe Gardner navigated the world as a Black man. We wanted to enrich those storytellers by hearing the stories of those who were member participants of those communities…we felt without a doubt that this made a difference.”

Soul received  Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Score. In the interview, Wilson also reviews her career at Pixar, where she has created a sense of belonging and inclusivity since joining the company in 2016 and continues to collaborate with filmmakers. 

Read the full article on MSNBC’s website


Article Highlights

  • Britta Wilson built a “Cultura Trust” team at Pixar
  • The team helped develop the main character of the 2020 movie Soul