Amazon Studios is serious about amplifying underrepresented talent and creators, recently launching a playbook spelling out the company’s inclusion goals for its productions 

I think the inclusion playbook is very detailed in terms of its goals, its aspirational goals, in meeting a distribution of representation across a number of groups,” explains Albert Cheng, Amazon Studios’ chief operating officer and co-head of television during a conversation alongside Amazon Studios’ co-head of television Vernon Sanders at Variety’s Changemakers Summit. “It is something that we apply across the entire spectrum of how we create content. It’s everything above line. It’s below the line. It’s vendors that we use. These are goals in which we are asking not only ourselves to meet, but also the creative partners that we work with meet. And so it is something that we put in place to set as a target, and then also on a ongoing basis, to ask them to provide information and we track it. And we are…incredibly intentional and deliberate of making sure that we hit those targets.

It’s important for the studio to participate in that kind of conversation early, said Sanders, even before they’ve greenlit a show.

“So we go into the process with people aligned with us,” he said. “I think these things are hardest when there’s little time and people feel under the gun and people default to folks that they worked with before, instead of going, Oh, let me learn about people I should know.’ So having this playbook in place and being able to share that with producers before we’ve even gotten to the point where [we’ve given] a green light, I think is going to be a key difference for us.