×

Warner Bros.’ Kevin Tsujihara Says ‘Diversity Is Good for Business’

Kevin Tsujihara, Warner Bros. chairman and chief executive, used his Visionary Leadership award at a U.S.-China entertainment gala dinner Tuesday to make an impassioned statement in favor of diversity in the workplace.

“To maintain our relevance and creative excellence we need to work with new voices to tell new stories, stories that reflect a global perspective, from the faces we see on screen to those writing the scripts and on set, or making the magic happen in the editing room,” said Tsujihara, the first Asian American to head a major Hollywood studio.

He added: “We all must ensure that there is greater inclusion of women, people of color, LGBT+ community, those with disabilities and underrepresented groups both in front of and behind the camera. We know it is right and we know it works.”

Tsujihara received his award Tuesday evening in Los Angeles on the sidelines of the 2018 U.S.-China Entertainment Summit sponsored by the Asia Society.

Citing the box office success of U.S.-Chinese co-production “The Meg” and “Crazy Rich Asians,” with its all-Asian cast, he said that “diversity not only feels good; it is good for the bottom line.”

“Audiences are hungry for great stories,” Tsujihara said. “And it doesn’t matter if the characters are black or white, Asian or Latino, male or female, gay, straight or transgender.”

Warner Bros. is “recognizing the importance, value and power of diversity in our content and our people,” he said, noting the studio’s “production diversity policy.”

But more work needs to be done.

“Every other global entertainment medium – professional sports, social media, music, other genres – transcend race. Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Awkwafina all have appeal beyond borders and beyond labels, but somehow in movies we haven’t been able to make that leap,” Tsujihara said. “We say that certain genres of film don’t travel well, or that international audiences aren’t open to diverse leads. It is incumbent on the entire entertainment industry to stop making excuses for self-fulfilling prophecies, and instead get creative about the way we market diverse content to global audiences….We share a common humanity, especially in these perilous times.”

More Film

  • Japan's Toei Animation Teams With Saudi's

    Japan's Toei Animation Teams With Saudi's Manga Productions on 'The Journey'

    In an industry-building effort for Saudi Arabia, new Saudi animation studio Manga Productions has teamed up with Japan’s Toei Animation on a $10 million to $15 million animation feature titled “The Journey,” an epic based on Saudi folklore to be directed by Shizuno Kobun, whose credits include “Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle.”  Manga [...]

  • 'Joan of Arc' Review: Bruno Dumont's

    Cannes Film Review: 'Joan of Arc'

    You have to hand it to Bruno Dumont, France’s dark prince of dour auteurism: He never makes the same film twice, even when he does, to all intents and purposes, make the same film twice. Two years ago, he offered his own singular contribution to cinema’s well-stocked canon of Joan of Arc dramas: As a [...]

  • Rosie Day, Harriet Sanson Harris, Natalia

    Rosie Day, Harriet Sanson Harris, Natalia Tena Set For Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s Thriller ‘Baby’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    CANNES– Rosie Day (“Outlander”), Harriet Sanson Harris (“Phantom Thread”) and Natalia Tena (“Game of Thrones”) will star in Spaniard Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s psychological thriller “Baby,” Variety has learned exclusively. The project will be pitched on May 19 at Fantastic 7, a new Cannes initiative seeing seven of the world’s most prestigious fantastic festivals back and [...]

  • Polish Fest’s Industry Event Presents Upcoming

    New Horizons’ Polish Days Goes to Cannes With Five Films in Progress

    CANNES  —  Buoyed by a wave of international successes, including Pawel Pawlikowski’s 2019 foreign-language Oscar nominee “Cold War,” Polish cinema will get a fitting showcase Sunday morning with the presentation of five new projects at New Horizons’ Polish Days Goes to Cannes. Organized in conjunction with the Polish Film Institute, Polish Days is the most important [...]

  • Cannes, Annecy Animation Day Hosts ‘Bob

    Coala to Pitch ‘Bob Spit: We Do Not Like People’ at Cannes, Annecy Animation Day

    São Paulo-based Coala Filmes impressed in the series competition at last year’s Annecy Intl. Film Festival with an episode of their popular stop-motion series “Angeli the Killer,” based on the famous comics of the Brazilian comic-book writer of the same name. This year, the film’s director Cesar Cabral and producer Ivan Melo are participating in [...]

  • Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich’s $100 Million

    Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich’s $100 Million Film Fund Launches

    CANNES  —  Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich’s $100 million private film fund Kinoprime is ready for business, the fund’s CEO, Anton Malyshev, said in Cannes this week. Financed to the tune of $100 million over the next three years, the fund can provide up to 50% of a film’s production budget, with a $2 million cap [...]

  • Russian Helmer of Blockbuster ‘Stalingrad’ Looks

    Russia’s Fedor Bondarchuk Unveils Four New Films in Cannes

    CANNES  —  Russian director Fedor Bondarchuk introduced four new productions from his Art Pictures Studio Saturday in Cannes, including “Attraction 2,” the sequel to his 2017 sci-fi blockbuster. The invitation-only showcase at the Gray d’Albion hotel also unveiled footage from three new features that Bondarchuk is either directing or producing. Sci-fi thriller “Sputnik” is the story [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content