×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Central Park’ Writer Launches ‘Show Us Your Room’ Social Media Initiative

Just ahead of the 2018 fall television season, a new inclusion initiative has launched on social media.

Entitled #ShowUsYourRoom, the initiative encourages showrunners and writers to post photos of their rooms on Twitter and Instagram, to show “who is actually walking the walk” when it comes to inclusive hiring.

“This is a time where everyone is talking about diversity and inclusion,” Amanda Idoko, a writer on the animated series “Central Park” and founder of the initiative, tells Variety exclusively. “Everyone’s saying they’re promoting diversity and inclusion, but every year the numbers are the same. People are saying they want diversity and inclusion but not actually fighting for it.”

Idoko, who is organizing the initiative in conjunction with an unofficial subcommittee of the WGA Committee of Black Writers that Ron McCants started, says she was first inspired to take action after seeing the 2017 Hollywood Diversity Report. The report looked at 168 theatrical films and more than 1200 television shows to determine the progress, or lack thereof, of minorities both in front of and behind the camera. It determined that behind-the-scenes, inclusive representation had gone stagnant or taken slight dips in key areas such as creators of cable and streaming series, credited writers of cable series and lead actors on cable series.

“Things aren’t changing because all of these studies and statistics are anonymous. Simply classifying lack of diversity as an industry-wide problem takes away personal accountability and personal incentive for people to actually stand up and fix the problem,” she says.

Idoko began reaching out to a wide variety of writers’ rooms — ones that were publicly diverse, such as Starz’ “Vida,” which featured an all-Latinx room in its first season, as well as ones that may not be. She admits that she did encounter some people who were “nervous” about it, but she hopes even those with all-white rooms will share their photos. CBS’ “SWAT” was the first to follow Idoko’s own post on Twitter. The “Suits” spinoff and “Empire” writers’ rooms joined in quickly.

“Those are the rooms we want to participate,” she says. “If … you find yourself in the position that you’re in an all-white room, that should be a wake-up call for you. … If you are scared to show a picture of your room, I think that’s a problem. So if people have a moment of, ‘Oh I would be embarrassed to post a picture of my room,’ maybe [they] should make some changes.”

In order to make those changes, Idoko says it is just as simple as not “waiting for a stack of scripts to land on your desk” but to “actively look for these voices.”

“You can go to any writer of color or any woman and say, ‘Hey, can you recommend a writer to me?’ I can 100% guarantee you they will have a list,” she suggests.

In fact, it is that conversation that Idoko hopes this initiative starts — within writers’ room, as well as other parts of the industry, and other industries in the country.

“I don’t think this is only a problem with writers’ rooms,” she says. “My hope is that agencies and studios post pictures of their rooms because that is where decisions are made, but also … let’s have hospital boards and law firms and corporations — let’s see what all of these rooms look like because the room where it happens should be diverse. … I feel like the public has a right to know what all of these places look like and if they look like the way the world does.”

More TV

  • Arrow -- "Fadeout" -- Image Number:

    How The 'Arrow' Series Finale Honors 'The Completion of Oliver's Mission'

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the “Arrow” series finale. In the aftermath of Oliver Queen’s (Stephen Amell) death, the CW’s “Arrow” ended with a relatively happy ending. The post-“Crisis” world revealed that Oliver’s death had indeed been a spark that saved his city, which was now crime-free. Additionally, nearly [...]

  • Co-winners of the MVP award Phoenix

    Shaquille O'Neal Remembers Kobe Bryant in Tearful Tribute

    A tearful Shaquille O’Neal spoke publicly for the first time Tuesday about the death of his former teammate, Kobe Bryant. “I think a lot of times we take stuff for granted,” O’Neal said during a special edition of TNT’s “Inside the NBA.” Turning to his co-hosts with tears running down his face, O’Neal added, “Like [...]

  • Netflix new building Sunset

    Netflix to Lay Off Roughly 15 in Marketing Department Shift

    Netflix is poised to let go of roughly 15 marketing staffers from its Los Angeles office in the wake of last year’s shift in marketing leadership, Variety has learned. The layoffs represent a small percentage of the greater marketing division, according to a source, and follows the hiring last July of Jackie Lee-Joe as chief marketing [...]

  • Riverdale -- "Chapter Twenty-Six: The Tell-Tale

    TV News Roundup: ‘Riverdale’ Sets ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ Musical Episode

    In today’s TV News Roundup, the CW revealed this year’s musical episode of “Riverdale” will feature numbers from “Hedwig & the Angry Inch,” and Amazon announced the premiere date for “Agatha Christie’s The Pale Horse.” DATES This Season 4 musical episode of “Riverdale” will air on Apr. 8 at 8:00 pm on the CW, and this [...]

  • Apple TV Plus

    Apple TV Plus Had 'Immaterial' Revenue in Launch Quarter Amid One-Year Free Deal

    Apple reported record-setting sales of nearly $92 billion for the three months that ended 2019 — but Apple TV Plus, the flashy new subscription-video service it bowed last fall, wasn’t part of the tech giant’s growth story. Apple TV Plus revenue “was immaterial to our results” for the period, CFO Luca Maestri told analysts on [...]

  • Kobe Bryant Dead

    Washington Post Says Reporter's Kobe Bryant Tweets Did Not Violate Social Media Policy

    UPDATE: Sonmez tweeted out a statement Tuesday evening calling for Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron to address the issue directly. Her suspension and his email warning to her, she said, “have unfortunately sown confusion about the depth of management’s commitment” to its journalistic principles. I believe that Washington Post readers and employees, including myself, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content