Hollywood has been due for a huge change for quite some time now. In fact, I specifically said it needs a gut rehab.
Many gatekeepers and other influential voices in Hollywood have been making moves to reimagine a better and more diverse Hollywood, including Kendrick Sampson’s letter to Hollywood (which countless Black celebrities signed) urging the industry to divest from the police.
Next up in the ongoing effort is Michael B. Jordan and Color of Change. They recently announced they were teaming up to launch #ChangeHollywood, an initiative that will aim to “answer calls for action across the industry with infrastructure that will create concrete, measurable solutions towards racial justice.” The initiative will serve as a resource for companies, executive leadership, staff and talent that will positively affect the Black community.
From the Color of Change press release sent to The Root:
Key aspects of the roadmap include:
Investing in Anti-Racist Content & Authentic Black Stories through educational materials, resource lists and content creation support.
Investing in Black Talent & Careers with advancements in recruitment, hiring practices, trainings and transparent disclosures.
Shifting Investment in Police towards Investment in Black Communities including advocating for independent security, support for Black owned businesses, financial support of community-led programing and new streams of communication between the industry and Black communities.
“This roadmap is just the beginning of the journey to racial justice. We are all accomplices in the fight to transform Hollywood, and we invite content creators and industry leaders to join us in working together to #ChangeHollywood,” Jordan said in a statement. “We look forward to including a variety of voices in doing what we do best: telling authentic stories, bringing people together, partnering with influential artists, and changing the rules of the game.”
As the CEO of Outlier Society, Jordan made waves in Hollywood when he adopted an inclusion rider for projects within his company as well as teamed up with Warner Bros.’ initiative in the effort in 2018. We do know there is a lot more work to be done across the board, including the importance of diversifying the internal teams hired by talent, as pointed out by Diverse Representation Founder Jaia Thomas in a June op-ed in The Hollywood Reporter.
Alas, there are already some changes brewing with #ChangeHollywood. The press release adds:
Outlier Society and Color Of Change have already begun conversations with companies like WME and Endeavor Content and organizations like BLD PWR about commitments to this initiative, with more details to come. The #ChangeHollywood initiative is urging everyone in the industry to make these bold moves to affirm, defend and invest in Black lives through honest storytelling, value-aligned financial investment and systemic change within the industry.
“The legacy of racism in Hollywood is long and unforgivable: excluding Black talent, silencing Black voices, derailing Black careers, and using the economic power of the industry to prop up police who target and enact violence on Black communities,” Rashad Robinson, president of Color Of Change, said. “We know from our advocacy that the industry won’t change on its own, so we’re building off our current work to hold Hollywood accountable to offer these resources and a roadmap toward enacting racial justice. From the writers’ rooms to the streets, we are energized and ready to help Hollywood follow through on their statements that Black lives matter.”
For more information on #ChangeHollywood, including the full roadmap, visit colorofchange.org.