Deadline reports that WarnerMedia, the recently rebranded AT&T-owned incarnation of Time Warner, has committed to a company-wide set of guidelines to improve inclusion and diversity in their film, TV and digital output. Here is the official statement:
WarnerMedia companies, Warner Bros., HBO and Turner, have long been committed to diversity and inclusion as moral and business imperatives. It is essential that our content and creative partners reflect the diversity of our society and the world around us. Together with other production companies, networks, guilds, unions, talent agencies and others in the industry, we all must ensure there is greater inclusion of women, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, those with disabilities and other underrepresented groups in greater numbers both in front of and behind the camera.
For our part, WarnerMedia pledges to use our best efforts to ensure that diverse actors and crew members are considered for film, television and other projects, and to work with directors and producers who also seek to promote greater diversity and inclusion in our industry. To that end, in the early stages of the production process, we will engage with our writers, producers and directors to create a plan for implementing this commitment to diversity and inclusion on our projects, with the goal of providing opportunities for individuals from under-represented groups at all levels. And, we will issue an annual report on our progress.
The companies of WarnerMedia have a historic and proven commitment to diversity and inclusion. But there is much more we can do, and we believe real progress can be made in the industry. We will work with our partners in the entertainment community to make this commitment a reality.
While DC Entertainment is not named explicitly, they will be subject to these same guidelines like the rest of WarnerMedia’s subsidiaries, which will extend to any upcoming DC Films, TV productions, or DC Universe shows. The first project to fall under the new guidelines will be Just Mercy, an upcoming Warner Bros. film starring and produced by Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan. Jordan, whose agent Phillip Sun helped WarnerMedia launch the policy, pledged to hire inclusion riders at his production company following actress Frances McDormand’s speech on the subject at this year’s Oscars.
Kevin Tsujihara, Warner Bros. chairman and CEO, said “I’m proud that Warner Bros, and our sister companies HBO and Turner, are willing to state unequivocally that this is where we stand on diversity and inclusion. Our policy commits us to taking concrete action to further our goals, to measure the outcomes and to share the results publicly. I’m also thrilled that we were able to work with Michael B. Jordan to craft a meaningful policy and framework that will apply to all of our productions, across all of our divisions, going forward.”