“Power Star Live” sounds very meta: A live show on Twitter about what people are saying on Twitter.
But the half-hour show, hosted by Xilla Valentine and Jessie Woo and broadcast on the social media network live every Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET, is much deeper — and more fun — than that.
“It is of the culture. It is about the culture. It puts the culture front and center,” says creator Will Packer, whose Will Packer Media produces the show from Atlanta. “It is really about urban culture and how Black Twitter influences mainstream culture and pop culture. ”
Black Twitter is the heart and soul of “Power Star Live,” which has positioned itself as both a curation and summation of what’s hot, funny, viral and sparking debate on the social media — as well as making clear the contributions of Black Twitter to the larger culture.
“For a long time, black people haven’t had a home for their voice on Twitter and ‘Power Star Live’ actually does that: It gives voices to the voiceless,” says Valentine.
Woo says a lot of popular social-media movements start on Black Twitter, citing the #BlackLivesMatter movement as an obvious case and #MeToo as a less-obvious one. “A lot of people thought Alyssa Milano was the one who started that, but no, it came from a black woman by the name of Tarana Burke,” she says. “We always want to make sure that people don’t forget where certain phrases, where certain movements start as far as social media is concerned.”
The show pulls all its content from Twitter, with each episode only pulling Tweets, memes, gifs and other posts from the week prior to broadcast, says Kelly Smith, Will Packer Media’s head of development and production-unscripted.
“If it’s not on Twitter, if people aren’t talking about it on Twitter, then it’s not in the show,” says Smith.
Despite such recent hot topics as sexual-abuse allegations against hip-hop artist R. Kelly and the late Michael Jackson, “Power Star Live” is not meant to drive conversations with any type of agenda.
Since debuting Feb. 6, the show has garnered between 1.5 million and 2 million views, including re-streams, with one episode spiking with about 6 million views.