No studies focus solely on minority representation in Hollywood but one isn’t needed to know that the ratio of society to media isn’t well balanced. Just last year, it was reported that only 4.8 percent of Hollywood television writers were black. And another study found that minority directors saw a 2.8 percent dip in directing credits. But it's certainly looking up.
In light of that information, A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay partnered up with the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, for a new initiative in an effort to open access to Hollywood pursuits for “women, people of color and those from low-income households,” according to the New York Times. Known for her film work depicting the African-American condition, this is not a total shock.
This summer, in the shape of 150 internships, the director/producer’s Evolve Entertainment Fund will secure enough revenue to train Hollywood hopefuls. The initiative hopes to raise enough funds for 500 interns by 2020. For the coming summer, all interns will be hired through L.A.’s career project, Hire L.A’s Youth. In a statement on Monday (Feb. 12), Garcetti said, “We created the Evolve Entertainment Fund to give people in underserved communities a new opportunity to chase their dreams in Hollywood, whether they want to be the next award-winning director or screenwriter, or are looking to secure a future in below-the-line jobs that are the bedrock of this city’s middle class,” The Cut reports.
While it is a city program, the $5 million initiative will not utilize tax dollars. Instead, money will come from fundraising. In addition, grants will be given to entertainment companies. First to receive a grant will be the Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program, a program by the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Los Angeles and The Hollywood Reporter. In witnessing greater involvement of minorities in media endeavors, DuVernay wishes to lend assistance to the hands that should be sculpting the future.
DuVernay is well-aligned with the times as awareness has piqued regarding race and gender discrepancies. The company is set to partner with the likes of DreamWorks, Sundance, and Netflix.