×
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

  • Jeremy Sisto, Ebonee Noel, Dick Wolf,

    Dick Wolf Plots Cross-Network Crossover Between CBS, NBC

    Veteran television producer Dick Wolf, best known for creating the “Law & Order” franchise, is eyeing a cross-network crossover between his CBS freshman procedural “FBI” or its in-the-works spinoff “FBI: Most Wanted” and one of his NBC shows, such as “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” or “Chicago P.D.” The decision whether to go with [...]

  • Prince Albert II of Monaco (C),

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union's 'L.A.’s Finest' Opens Monte Carlo TV Festival

    Prince Albert II of Monaco opened the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival on Friday at a glittering ceremony at the principality’s Grimaldi Forum attended by Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. The Hollywood actresses presented the French premiere of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest,” which has just been renewed for a second season. “You typically [...]

  • Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba'L.A.'s Finest'

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union Speak About Horrific 'L.A.’s Finest' On-Set Accident

    Actresses Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba spoke about how the horrific accident on the set of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest” affected them and the crew at the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival Saturday. They also paid tribute to the main victim of the incident, executive producer/co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier, whose leg was amputated below [...]

  • Emmys: How a Social Media Campaign

    How a Social Media Campaign to Game the Emmys Led to This Week's 'Block Voting' Scandal

    The Television Academy’s “block voting” controversy has quickly become the talk of Emmy season — and that appears to have been the org’s point. According to multiple insiders, the number of people disqualified from voting in this year’s competition is believed to be small, only around three members (out of nearly 25,000 members overall). But [...]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    TV News Roundup: Hulu Drops Trailer for 'Veronica Mars' Revival (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, Hulu dropped the official trailer for the “Veronica Mars” revival and HBO revealed more cast members for “Lovecraft Country.” FIRST LOOKS Hulu has dropped the official trailer for its revival of “Veronica Mars,” set to premiere on July 26. The series will bring back most of the original cast, including Kristen Bell, Jason [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content