Coalition Members Announce Plan to Hold the Film Industry Accountable to Communities of Color, Building off Successful Efforts in Television[caption id="attachment_8294" align="aligncenter" width="567"] Daniel M. Mayeda, Alex Nogales, Sonny Skyhawk, Guy Aoki[/caption] (Pasadena, CA). Members of the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition, which has met annually with the top four television networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) since 2000, announce a new initiative to meet with the top six motion picture studios—Sony, Warner Bros., Fox, Universal, Paramount and Disney. The coalition includes the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC), and American Indians in Film and Television (AIFT). The group announced that it will seek commitments from the film studios to meet with them on an annual basis; to regularly provide data on their released films regarding casting, writing, producing and directing; to explore strategies for increasing diversity and inclusion of people of color in casting, writing, producing and directing; to regularly provide data on the number of people of color among the studios’ top creative executives and to explore strategies for increasing those numbers; and to create whatever pipeline programs are necessary to ensure that people of color have genuine opportunities to participate in all aspects of the creation of American motion pictures. As the coalition has in the past issued annual report cards grading the networks on their diversity and inclusion efforts and results, the coalition intends doing the same with the major motion picture studios. “All of our organizations have worked together since the summer of 1999 to improve opportunities for people of color in television,” said Sonny Skyhawk, a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and founder of AIFT. “We’ve met with the top four networks since 2000. Each year, they’ve provided data on the minorities they’ve hired as writers, producers, directors, and actors, and we’ve discussed how accurately their series are reflecting reality. The great improvements you’ve seen on the small screen have been due in large part to our behind-the-scenes efforts. Now, we’re setting our sights on meeting with the top six movie studios and asking them to do the same on the big screen.” “The fact that all of the nominees across the top four acting categories at this year’s Oscars are once again white, impacts African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and Native Americans,” said Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition. “Individuals from all of our communities have been denied meaningful opportunities for their work to be considered for Academy Awards. We’ve broken barriers in television, and we’ll do it again with film; studios need to know that representation matters—for recognition of hard work and talent, for combating negative stereotypes in our public discourse, and for the next generation of our future leaders in the film industry.” “The academy can only vote on works that the movie studios decide to make,” said Daniel Mayeda, co-chair at the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition. “Most of the people who have the power to greenlight films are white. And despite data that proves otherwise, they insist that projects which feature minority casts won’t do well at the box office. Even when making films based on true stories, they often change the characters’ ethnicity to white. Actors of color are yearning for the opportunity to prove that they, too, can deliver Oscar-worthy performances.” In 2015, the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition also met with talent agencies CAA, William Morris Endeavor, ICM Partners, and Paradigm, urging them to hire more people of color as agents and to diversify their client lists. Speaker headshots, organization logos and press conference pictures available for download at https://flic.kr/s/aHsktGjvYz. Press kit with speaker statements can be seen here. Contact: Andrea Alford, 703.477.1075, email@example.com
National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a woman-led 501(c)(3) non-profit civil and human rights organization that was founded to eliminate hate, discrimination, and racism toward the Latino communities.
Los Angeles, CA