On the heels of its acquisition by AT&T, the newly rebranded WarnerMedia (consisting of Warner Bros., HBO, Turner, and, of course DC Entertainment, though they didn’t rate a mention in the press release) have teamed up with superstar actor Michael B. Jordan to launch a company-wide policy espousing a commitment to diversity and inclusion.
WarnerMedia today unveiled a company-wide policy outlining its commitment to diversity and inclusion in front of and behind the camera. “Just Mercy,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and starring Michael B. Jordan, is the first production to fall under this policy. Jordan, who serves as an executive producer on the film, and his agent Phillip Sun at WME, helped WarnerMedia launch this policy. Production begins this week in Atlanta.
The release notes that WarnerMedia has of course always been committed to diversity and inclusion, like, forever, but now they’re going to be, like, totally even more committed. So committed, in fact, they will release annual progress reports.
The full statement follows:
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.
The first film to fall under the policy, according to the press release, is Just Mercy, a new movie starring and executive produced by Jordan, who said:
Inclusivity has always been a no-brainer for me, especially as a black man in this business. It wasn’t until Frances McDormand spoke the two words that set the industry on fire — inclusion rider — that I realized we could standardize this practice. It allowed me to formally pledge my production company, Outlier Society, to a way of doing business. The WarnerMedia family has introduced an approach that accomplishes our shared objectives, and I applaud them for taking this enormous step forward. I’m proud that our film, ‘Just Mercy,’ will be the first to formally represent the future we have been working toward, together. This is a legacy-bearing moment.
Michael B. Jordan isn’t the only one proud of WarnerMedia’s new diversity and inclusion policy. Warner Bros Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara is proud of it too, and he said so in the press release:
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.
Okay, so Michael B. Jordan is proud, and Kevin Tsujihara is proud. Is anyone else proud? We’re glad you asked. WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey also chimed in:
The core values of the WarnerMedia companies are built on doing innovative work in a manner that respects our creative partners, their aspirations and their individuality. I am proud of the progress that the leaders of our businesses have made, and we believe this is the next logical step to improve our content and cement our leadership in contributing to positive change in the industry.
Unfortunately, there was no more space in the press release for any other WarnerMedia executives or famous actors to say how proud they are of WarnerMedia’s new policy, but we’ll just assume that all of them are deeply proud of it. We’re proud of you too, WarnerMedia. Good job. And we’re looking forward to the first annual report detailing all of your progress.