Department ofAfrican American Studies

On Wednesday, April 17th AFAM invited Brett King to accept the AFAM Outstanding Alumni Award 2024 at the 2024 AFAM Awards and Kente Celebration.  Brett is a ’81 Speech Communications grad with a minor in AFAM.  He is a producer, creative consultant and DEI executive skilled in TV and film production. King’s experience include roles at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Paramount Television Studios, 20th Century Fox, BET, The WB, SNL, and more! King most recently led Sony’s creative efforts in Diversity & Inclusion for nearly a decade before parting ways to create his own consulting agency Non LP B-Side in Los Angeles, California.


On Thursday, April 18th AFAM and the PRCC hosted “From Vision to Screen: The Creative Journey of Brett King” where we invited students to engage with King and learn more about his creative journey after his time at Penn State.


Brett King has devoted most of his adult life to the training, protection, and fostering of creators. Whether as a producer, creative executive or cultural influencer, King has worked tirelessly with both creators and corporate partners to provide opportunity and strategies to bring stories to the screen that are commercially viable, culturally specific, and globally relatable. He has honed his craft working alongside legendary creators such as Reginald Hudlin, Joss Whedon, John Wells, and Quincy Jones.

King has built a reputation for strategically building shows and brands from concept to full completion across varied types of creative teams and audience targets. He has become known as a leader in discovering trends in physical and digital media and fighting for new, transformative, emerging voices.

King is a media veteran with oversight of literally hundreds of hours of television under his belt in his role as a senior level executive at BET, The WB, Paramount Television Studios, and 20th Century Fox Television. He has bought, sold, produced, developed, and overseen television series for both networks and studios throughout Hollywood. King was most recently Vice President, Creative Programming, Diversity & Inclusion for Sony Pictures Entertainment, (SPE), where he worked across SPE businesses to provide access and opportunity for the underrepresented, working with both the Television Studio and Motion Picture Group. As part of these efforts, King designed, built, and executed the studio’s creative diversity initiatives, including the studio’s signature Diverse Director and Diverse Writers Programs. Notable program alumni include Barry Jenkins, (Moonlight), Salli Richardson-Whitfield (EP, Winning Time, HBO) and Aneesh Chaganty (Screen Gems’ Searching and its sequel, Missing). King led Sony’s creative efforts in diversity and inclusion for nearly a decade.

King’s creative passion was forged in the creative cauldron of New York’s downtown cultural blender, where he began his career working with visionary video artists such as Nam June Paik, assisting the curatorial team at the renowned Kitchen Center for the Arts, and distributing video art to galleries, museums, and universities around the world. It was a moment from which The New York Times posits “emerged a culture forever changed”. From that creative foundation, King forged a career in New York that saw him produce music videos, commercials, and unscripted content, culminating in multiple seasons on Saturday Night Live as producer of the commercial parodies, all while DJing in some of the city’s seminal downtown clubs.

King is a proud father of two.


Congratulations Brett on your award!