Universal Filmed Entertainment Group is looking to devote more resources into their diversity program. According to the LA Times, new hire, Janine “Jones-Clark will serve as senior vice president of the studio’s newly created Global Talent Development and Inclusion department.” She will report directly to Universal Chairman Donna Langley, a huge supporter of increasing diversity throughout the industry. This move comes on the heels of successful films including the “Fast & Furious” franchise and 2015’s “Straight Outta Compton.” proving their is an economic benefit to supporting more diversity projects.
While Jones-Clark will look to bolster the talent department with more minority and female actors, the former Disney executive will also “oversee and expand programs such as Universal’s fellowship for emerging writers and the Sundance FilmTwo Initiative, launched last year to offer filmmakers, especially women and directors of color, support on their second pictures.”
The diversity push is not just limited to Universal as Warner Bros has also “started anew film workshop for aspiring directors in 2016 as a way to boost undiscovered and underrepresented talent.” With recent smash hits like the New Edition documentary on BET, there is tons of money to be made in the stories of minorities in America. Now with better processes set up to receive and promote them, we may be seeing a dawn of a new lucrative era for big budget studios.