Major entertainment companies Amazon Studios, Warner Bros. Discover, A+E Networks and Banijay Americas have signed on to join Coded for Inclusion, an initiative that aims to combat discriminatory hiring systems in the industry through its Staff Me Up platform.
Coded for Inclusion was launched last year, as a collaboration between several organizations including Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society Fellowship, Hue You Know, AMC Networks and Endeavor Content. The program provides productions access to Staff Me Up, a hiring program that uses DEI tools developed from research by social and racial justice groups Hue You Know and Color of Change, and encourages executives to hire outside of their organizations.
“We believe that every role on a set contributes to the product and it is why we are committed to diversifying the people powering our content behind the scenes in order to be the most representative of the audience,” Samata Narra, senior VP and president of equity, inclusion and content at Warner Bros. Discovery, said in a statement. Said Karla Pita Loor, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Inclusion and Social Responsibility, Banijay Americas: “At Banijay Americas, we are focused on building partnerships that translate into real jobs and meaningful change in the industry—those that help us deliver on our commitment to reflecting the rich diversity of our audiences both onscreen and behind the scenes on our sets.”
The idea is to remove barriers to entry for job seekers from historically excluded groups — including BIPOC, women, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities and active military/veterans. The new partners will help support further expansion into scripted production, the org said.
“A+E Networks has long been committed to diverse representation in all roles – in front of and behind the camera – and we’re excited to uncover and be paired with underrepresented talent through Staff Me Up,” said Karen Gray, CHRO and Chief Diversity Officer, A+E Networks. Added Latasha Gillespie, head of global DEI at Amazon Studios, Prime Video and IMDb: “Our support of Coded For Inclusion is aligned with our commitment to a more inclusive Hollywood, one that reflects the diversity of our world today.”
Professionals with experience working on film and television crews can make a profile, add an unlimited amount of credits and select demographic information regarding their identities. Currently, the platform has 380,000 crew profiles, over 100,000 of which identify as a member of a marginalized group.
“We’re thrilled to welcome A+E Networks, Amazon Studios, Banijay Americas, and Warner Bros. Discovery on board,” Daniel Rosenberg, vice president of business development and strategic alliances at Staff Me Up, said in a statement. “It is our goal with these partnerships to increase the visibility of job opportunities in the industry while providing productions an easily adaptable infrastructure to diversify their talent pools and break down the barriers of entry into Hollywood.”