The announcement comes as another awards-giving body, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. (which oversees the Golden Globes), has come under fire for its lack of any Black members. In the case of the TV Academy, which operates the Emmy Awards, ReadySet will help the org develop a strategic action plan, beginning with an analysis of the Academy’s overall policies and procedures and its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
The Academy said the initiative will start out with a series of membership, leadership and staff surveys to assess staff and member composition, attitudes and perceptions regarding DEI, opportunities for improvement, and expansion of current practices.
“We recognize the power of television to tell our stories, shape our conversations and influence the way that we see the world,” Television Academy chairman Frank Scherma. “For this reason, it’s important that our industry reflect the world at large on- and off-screen. Now, more than ever, we believe we must increase visibility, equity and power for those marginalized and underrepresented in our industry. For the Academy, that work starts with our membership, leadership and staff.”
The Academy said it will update its membership throughout the year on the study’s progress.
ReadySet’s CEO and founder Y-Vonne Hutchinson touted the study as a proactive stance by the Academy. “We believe the Television Academy is uniquely positioned to drive impactful change across the industry,” Hutchinson said. “We’re looking forward to working with its leadership team and membership to assist in charting a constructive and meaningful results-oriented path forward.”
Scherma added that the TV Academy’s Executive Committee and Board of Governors had agreed to first conducting an internal evaluation and effecting internal changes “in order to provide a leadership example for the industry.”
“This mandate is critical for the Academy to not only advocate but be a leader for the industry in the drive for inclusion,” he said. “With the confluence of many factors and movements—the pandemic, BLM, social justice and me-too—change is more imperative than ever; and it’s important that we are listening, and we act.”