LOS ANGELES — Stung by fierce criticism about a lack of diversity on both sides of the screen, movie studios have scrambled to create fellowship programs for underrepresented directors and writers. A few stars and entertainment companies have publicly supported “inclusion riders” requiring a diverse cast and crew.
But little-coordinated action has been taken to increase the number of entertainment executives of color.
So The Hollywood Reporter, a trade publication, decided to address the problem by creating a two-year job-training program called the Young Executives Fellowship. Starting in April and continuing annually, 25 underrepresented and low-income high school juniors in Los Angeles will be selected to participate. Amazon Studios and the WME talent agency are sponsors, and Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles and Martin Luther King III will sit on the advisory board.
“This is not a mentorship — it’s regimented job training designed to get results,” said Matthew Belloni, The Reporter’s editorial director, adding that Hollywood had to stop talking about the need for more diversity and start doing something about it. “So many panel discussions, so little action,” he said.