Variety to Host Conference on Diversity and Inclusion in Hollywood

Donna Langley Pharrell
Rex Shutterstock

Variety will host the first-ever conference on diversity and inclusion in Hollywood, the media company announced today.

The conference, which is called “Inclusion,” aims to foster dialogue around various aspects of diversity including ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and aging, by engaging senior executives and talent from the creative community.

Academy Award nominee and musician Pharrell Williams and Universal Studios chairman Donna Langley will have keynote conversations with Variety editors at the conference.  “Inclusion” will also consist of a series of panels tackling issues ranging from advancing Latino entertainment to LGBTQ rights. PwC’s U.S. Board Chairman Brian Cullinan will moderate a fireside chat with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

AARP and PwC are sponsors for the event.


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“There is no issue in Hollywood today more important and relevant than diversity and inclusion. It is Variety’s privilege and responsibility to lead an industry-wide dialogue and bring the decision makers of our community together to promote solutions to counter the lack of minority talent in film and television. This is an issue that transcends the entertainment business, and we are excited to play a role in the broader conversation,” said Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, group publisher of Variety.

“Age discrimination is an incredibly important issue, not just to AARP’s 38 million members nationwide, but across all facets of society,” Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP CEO added. “We hope the dialogue at the Variety conference will lead not only to greater awareness of the issue but to more and better opportunities for talented actors, producers, directors, and others in the creative community — whatever their age.”

A 2016 UCLA study found minorities remain underrepresented in Hollywood on every front (nearly 3 to 1 among film leads and directors). The study also found U.S. audiences are seeking diverse film and television content.

The conference will be on November 1, 2016 at The Montage hotel in Beverly Hills.

For more information on “Inclusion,” go to

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  1. Patience says:

    Bravo Variety! Good job for initiating this conversation and creating a platform for dialogue & awareness. Hopefully it will be the beginning of some real and tangible changes.

  2. Joe says:

    Phoniest issue ever.

  3. odee says:

    Variety fanning the flames of racism for it’s survival.

  4. How does Variety plan this event and release a statement about a diversity event WITHOUT including People with Disability in the discussion? Because it isn’t popular! The press on diversity and inclusion has from the start been Exclusive of people with disability. That’s 20% of the population. Its not something you exclude form the list bc of some assumed idea of diversity if anything it should e at the front of the list. I seem to recall you reporting on my White Paper study with The Ruderman Family Foundation. Also didn’t you just cover the USC report from Prof. Stacy Smith. Even after I have personally called on you (at Variety) to be more inclusive you still manage to still exclude us?

    • Carlyne Grager says:

      My FIRST thoughts exactly Danny Woodburn!!! They just didn’t think about you or any of the other incredibly talented, intelligent and wonderful people who have to overcome great odds to succeed with disabilities!! This just shows how far this country has to go where equal rights are concerned! It’s difficult for me to even hear people speak about recognizing diversity anymore when such an important population of human beings aren’t addressed!!

  5. Cafe Joe says:

    Would be nice to actually have a Latino executive or talent involved with this that are actual decision makers. There’s a handful on the Exec side at some of the cable channels, fewer on the broadcast side last I checked. I’m sure Variety has the names and can hunt them down.

  6. tlsnyder42 says:

    “Diversity” is a phony issue. It never seems to include Christians or conservatives, much less Muslim Islamists who support Shariah Law.

  7. What about people with disabilities? We are fully 1-in-5 Americans, but almost never seen in Hollywood. We are every race, gender, sexual orientation and identity. We are the only group that people, due to accident, aging or illness, can join any time. I hope this conference will include this as well! Look at great examples — the Emmy winner Born This Way, which stars 7 people with Down syndrome. One is African American, one Hispanic, one Asian. Look at Speechless and Finding Dori. There are good examples — but they are too far and few between!

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