Macro’s Charles D. King on the ‘Significant Progress’ of Increasing Diversity in Hollywood

Charles D King Reflects on 2020
Michael Buckner/Variety

To make sense of all that has transpired in 2020 and what it portends for the media and entertainment sectors going forward, Variety spoke with a cross section of industry leaders about the broad theme of change. For more, click here.

Former WME partner Charles D. King launched Macro in 2015 as a production banner to focus on amplifying stories and creative talent from underrepresented backgrounds. Macro brings deep resources to the development and production process thanks to private equity supporters including Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective. In its short life, Macro has produced or co-financed such films as “Mudbound,” “Fences,” “Roman J. Israel, Esq.,” “Sorry to Bother You” and the upcoming “Judas and the Black Messiah.” The company also has expanded into management with its M88 banner, which now has more than half a dozen managers representing actors, writers and directors.

As Macro approaches its sixth anniversary next month, King speaks with Variety about leading a young business at a time of unprecedented challenges and opportunities for the kind of content King has vowed to champion.

As an entrepreneur, what has been the hardest part of steering Macro through pandemic conditions in Hollywood?

I wouldn’t say that there has been a hardest part. There definitely have been new challenges. But we meet challenges at Macro. That’s why we are successful. First comes safety — employees, family, friends — and making sure everyone has what they need. Then, opportunity. Cultural change at this level is a sharp call for leaders and creators to innovate. And with rapid change, money for and from content immediately flows in different directions. Our job is to direct it and invest it.

You have launched a successful venture with support from private investors. What is it that is drawing investors to media opportunities right now?

Macro has launched a successful venture with support from investors because we deliver great content and profit, and bottom line, that is really what investors in this space are looking for.

You have long been an advocate for more diversity on-screen. This year has been a reckoning for the industry and for the culture. What do you think are the most significant things in the entertainment industry that happened in the immediate wake of George Floyd’s murder?

It’s now not just those of us who live and inspire diversification talking about it. Increasingly, those in the industry who need to change are talking about change now. That is significant progress.

As told to Cynthia Littleton