Justin Baldoni is on a mission to challenge the men of the world to consider what it really means to be “Man Enough.” His new talk-show, Man Enough, aims to redefine traditional masculinity by opening a dialogue about what it takes to be a man today.
The idea for the series was inspired by Baldoni’s own journey of self-discovery to determine his role in the fight for gender equality. During this period in his life, the Jane The Virgin star realized that there are hardly, if any, empowering portrayals of men refusing to conform to societal expectations of masculinity.
“We have all the shows in the world that empower women to talk about these things – which they should exist by the way because, let’s be honest, women deserve a safe space to have these conversations – but men don’t talk,” Baldoni told Hollywood Reporter. “Even the idea of this show made men scoff, like, ‘Oh, who’s going to watch men talking to each other? That’s how rare this is.”
Baldoni opened up about his personal experiences with understanding the construct of masculinity in modern society in a TED Talk that was published earlier this month. At the conclusion of the narrative, Baldoni posed a challenge to other men: “See if you can use the same qualities that you feel make you a man to go deeper.” Man Enough has provided a platform that will empower men to explore the emotions and thoughts that society had conditioned them to suppress.
Man Enough is described as a weekly dinner party captured on camera. The rotating cast consists of a diverse group of recognizable faces including Dancing With The Stars’ Derek Hough, Hamilton’s Javier Muñoz, spoken-word artist and transgender activist Prince EA, and a handful of other respected guests.
The diversity of the cast was an intentional choice made by Baldoni and the other producers of the show. They chose to recruit a group of men who would have varying opinions regarding specific topics due to their experiences.
“I wanted voices that would challenge each other,” Baldoni said. “Diversity was really important to me because men face issues based on their ethnicity and also based on their sexual orientation.”
The Man Enough guests have their own unique thoughts and emotions that stem from their backgrounds and learned behaviors. The wide range of voices involved in each discussion blends together to create a thought-provoking learning experience for both the viewers and the guests themselves.
The meaningful, and sometimes uncomfortable, conversations are centralized around carefully selected topics that men have generally been conditioned to avoid discussing in depth due to the taboo nature of the topic. Baldoni encourages his guests to open up about subjects such as body image, relationships, and parenthood. Baldoni expressed a desire to Hollywood Reporter that, in the future, he would like to lead discussions that are relevant to current events, such as the issue of sexual harassment and the country’s broken accountability system.
The show is produced by Wayfarer Entertainment, the production company that Baldoni co-founded with Ahmed Musiol in 2013. Man Enough episodes are posted weekly through a website developed by Harry’s grooming company, wearemanenough.com.
Baldoni told Hollywood Reporter that Wayfarer chose to distribute content online rather than on TV because they wanted to air the show as soon as possible. “We thought, ‘Hey, we believe in it, we’re going to put our money where our mouth is and we’re going to take that risk and do it ourselves.’ If nobody watches it, at least we tried.”
Justin Baldoni is making the world a more open place where both men and women can speak openly about their experiences. He is working to tear down the walls of toxic masculinity, which for so long has contributed to the mistreatment of women and “jock culture.” We can only hope that Baldoni’s show will continue redefining masculinity.
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