3 Women Of Color Land Major Film And TV Deals This Week
In an industry that's been plagued with inclusivity problems (read: an industry that's kept women and people of color out of high-powered jobs for decades), this week has so far delivered some deserved breaks for three film and television creatives.
On Monday, news broke that Amazon Studios signed an exclusive first-look contract with Viola Davis' production company, JuVee Productions. The same day brought word that Domee Shi, the first woman to direct an Oscar-nominated short film (Bao, 2018) is on track to direct her first feature film for Pixar. And the next day, Deadline reported that Ava DuVernay signed a $100 million overall deal with Warner Bros. Television Group.
This comes after a year that demonstrated no change when it comes to diversity behind the camera, according to Annenberg Inclusivity Initiative. Researchers at the University of Southern California think tank reported in July that among 2017's top-grossing films, just 7.3 percent of directors, 10.1 percent of writers and 18.2 percent of producers were female.
The industry's track record for people of color was even worse: just 5.5 percent of directors were Black or African American last year, and only one among that group was female.
Both DuVernay and JuVee Productions released statements about the collaborations via Twitter.
"We're beyond excited about our new relationship with @AmazonStudios. We share the same vision of creating a vast and rich array of narratives that are inclusive and reflective of our world." -@ViolaDavis & #JuliusTennon https://t.co/eoZLONbzSV— JuVee Productions (@JuVeeProds) November 26, 2018
"Warner Bros is a terrific partner on matters of visibility + belonging for all kinds + cultures of people, which is our mission at Forward Movement. Couldn't be happier to call Warner Bros TV my production home." Thanks for the love and light, folks. Really appreciated. xo, A. pic.twitter.com/5ndgbJd3qL— Ava DuVernay (@ava) November 27, 2018
Maybe, just maybe, things are starting to change.
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