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Filmmaker

Tina DiFeliciantonio

Tim Horsburgh

"In 1988, my graduate thesis film LIVING WITH AIDS aired on the premiere season of POV. It was the first film on the topic to be nationally broadcast on PBS and garnered POV its first National Emmy, signaling its willingness to take risks and present unique perspectives on often controversial subjects. As a first generation American with working class roots who is raising a son with a same sex partner, the programs on POV and Independent Lens appeal to our family unlike any others on television. WNET -- one of the largest, most influential PBS affiliates in the country -- has been essential in bringing these films to the underserved communities that comprise New York’s culturally rich and diverse metropolitan area. And yet, this past December WNET made a unilateral decision to abruptly change the schedules of both series with a plan to push them to its lesser known Long Island station. WNET's deceit and lack of transparency signaled a palpable disregard for those members of the public who lay outside its donor base.

It is a huge relief that PBS heeded the strong public outcry and took a leadership role to negotiate a partial reprieve.  While it is encouraging that a compromise has been reached with WNET, the public must remain vigilant to ensure that the still to-be-determined details of the deal will serve ALL members of the public.  As a non-profit organization that accepts public funding—both state and federal—WNET has an ethical and legal obligation to adhere to its mission to serve viewers equitably. It is up to us, the members of the public, to demand that WNET and PBS do so."

S. Leo Chiang

Tim Horsburgh

"Independent Lens and POV have always provided that rare space on broadcast television where audiences can find complex Asian American stories. I am pleased PBS is responding to the concerns of mediamakers and audiences across the country and increasing its support of these two important series, and I’m eager to see the new initiative implemented.  At the same time, I urge public television to continue honoring its commitment to serve the underserved communities, and I encourage mediamakers and viewers to hold your local PBS stations accountable in presenting diverse programming."

- S. Leo Chiang

Yoruba Richen

Tim Horsburgh

"It's good news that PBS has committed to keeping IL and POV in their primetime slot. Most viewers still watch their shows on broadcast TV  and  the films featured on these programs  foster important conversations about substantive issues and  have real impact in communities across the country.   I look forward to the continued collaboration between PBS, IL and POV and local stations to feature and promote these independent films and to more details about their new strategy."

- Yoruba Richen

Katy Chevigny

Tim Horsburgh

“The statement from PBS leaves us cautiously optimistic that we are on the road to having a strong and stable home for indies on PBS. One of the benefits of this process over the last several months is that the creativity community has been energized about this issue. All parties involved can count on the Indie Caucus to watch the implementation of the new plan and continue to advocate for increased visibility of these programs.”

- Katy Chevigny

Byron Hurt

Tim Horsburgh

“The announcement to schedule IL and POV in primetime, on Monday nights for the 21014-15 season is a positive step in the right direction. I believe this decision best positions these two important series for long-term success — and with a renewed commitment by PBS — I am optimistic about IL and POV supporting newer, independent voices, and achieving the continued growth of young, diverse audiences."

- Byron Hurt

Bernardo Ruiz

Tim Horsburgh

“The independent documentary series—IL and POV— speak to the core of what public television is all about and like others I am encouraged by this new agreement. I think we have all learned that there is a large, diverse and active set of audiences for these films and its now time to think about further growing these audiences—in particular, younger and more diverse viewers."

- Bernardo Ruiz