J.J. Abrams encourages more diversity in Hollywood

By: Katrina Gross ~Staff Writer~

Photo courtesy of digitaltrends.com | Abrams’ company, Bad Robot, has teamed with its agency, CAA, and studio partners (Warner Bros. and Paramount) to implement the new hiring policy.

Hollywood has always been wrought with controversy, both justifiable concerns and things that could be classified as simple gossip.

The most recent scrutiny that Hollywood recently has been subject to criticisms that movies lack diversity relative to what the actual U.S. population looks like. Thus, a huge part of our country is underrepresented in the entertainment industry.

The efforts to help Hollywood become more diverse are in response to hard facts about the lack of diversity in the entertainment industry. For example, despite the fact that approximately half of the movie-going population is non-white, only about 22 percent of on-screen actors are of a minority race in the U.S.

Directors, actors, writers and producers have all come out and shown support of a more diverse future for Hollywood, but few have taken actual steps to achieve diversity.

One member of Hollywood who has been able to take action in creating diversity is writer, director and producer J.J. Abrams, known most best for the newest “Star Wars” movie and the “Lost” television series. In an effort to

guarantee that his movies are an accurate representation of the U.S. population’s respective races, Abrams has enlisted a hiring model that statistically guarantees that not only actors who are auditioning for a role are representative of the U.S population, but also anyone applying to be a writer, producer or director at Abram’s production company.

“It has to be a systemic approach. Any list we get- it needs to be, at the very least, representative of the country we live in. Which roughly breaks down to 50 percent women, 12 percent black, 18 percent Hispanic, six percent Asian,” Abrams said.

Abram’s production company, Bad Robot, now requires all agencies submitting lists for movies to be statistically representative of the U.S population.

Other companies have begun taking initiatives to change the current representation of the U.S. by Hollywood both on and off screen.

This includes companies that employ huge amounts of writers, actors, directors and producers such as HBO, who last year began a writing fellowship for the underrepresented minority writing community.