“Everybody’s asking what they can do to help in this situation. What we think is this: Just be a good person.” – Russell Winfield
Be a good person. It’s a simple message. Everything about Absinthe’s recent segment release in honor of Black History Month from the film, Channel Zero is simple: the music by snowboarder/actress Gabby Maiden, the individual cuts, even the featured quote from Russell Winfield. “Just be a good person,” he said last summer when Channel Zero was being made. “If you’re a good person, everything will end up fine.” A-freakin’-men.
That simple message comes at a complicated time in America. The Black community is being recognized in ways it never has before. Or more to the point, following the George Floyd killing late last spring, Black people are being heard like never before. Americans are talking about race for the first time in a long time. Film companies, brands, media outlets across every segment of sport, action or otherwise are addressing race. And unfortunately, it’s not always well received. “We realized this year, that people will complain if you do something and complain if you don’t so in my mind, I was just like, ‘let’s do stuff and if people react to it negatively, that’s on them,'” Absinthe’s Shane Charlebois told me.