Progress on Inclusion
A new Amazon MGM Studios report details the progress that the company has made in supporting increased diversity in front of and behind the camera for its series and films. The report, published December 14, 2023, reveals significant growth in representation of women and people of color in creative roles, and on-screen gains for women, people of color, and LGBTQIA+ talent.
The report highlights changes driven by the studio’s Inclusion Policy and Playbook, which launched in summer 2021. The Policy and Playbook are open-source tools that codify Amazon MGM Studios’ existing DEIA practices, and aim to create content that is more inclusive and representative of U.S. audiences. The report examines Amazon MGM Studios and Freevee U.S. originals launched between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2023, covering key areas like casting, production, and hiring.
Among the key findings:
Representation of all women grew across creative roles (creators, directors, producers, showrunners and writers) for Amazon Originals series and movies from 35% to 43%.
Women of color were a large proportion of that growth, increasing from 8% to 13%.
People of color in top creative roles increased across movies and series from 19% to 24%.
LGBTQIA+ also experienced increased representation across top creative roles, growing from 3% to 5%.
People of color are seeing themselves equitably reflected on-screen in Originals movies and series for main cast (lead, regular/recurring, and supporting) roles at 45% (41.1% US Census)
Women of color make up 23% of total on-screen women representation, up from 20%.
LGBTQIA+ on screen talent in main cast roles increased from 4% to 7% across Originals movies and series.
The data reinforces our understanding that diversity behind-the-camera strongly influences who we see on-screen. Across all titles in the dataset:
When there is at least one director who is a woman, representation for women in main cast (lead, regular/recurring, and supporting) roles is 50% across titles, compared to 42% when no directors are women.
When there is at least one writer who is Black, Black representation in main cast roles is 34% across titles, compared to 11% when no writers are Black.
When there is at least one creator who is Latino, Latino representation in main cast roles is 20% across titles, compared to 5% when no creators are Latino.
“One of the most important things the data has shown us is the importance of being in business with diverse decision makers,” said Latasha Gillespie, Global Head of DEIA for Amazon MGM Studios, Prime Video and Freevee. “Representation increases in every area - from on screen talent to Heads of Department, resulting in more authentic content. We need to continue to invest in creators from underrepresented groups to see long term, systematic change.”
Opportunities for further growth were also identified. Although Latino on-screen and behind the camera roles have increased since the launch of the Policy, representation remains below US Census numbers, which put the Latino population at about 19%. Amazon MGM Studios is working with the Latino community to strengthen pathways into the industry and has developed student and filmmaker programs with the Latino Film Institute and the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival.
Another opportunity for improvement is around accessibility. While under-reporting continues to remain an issue, Amazon MGM Studios is working to remove barriers to equity, combat stigmas, and empower people with disabilities. This year, Amazon MGM Studios worked with Easterseals, RespectAbility, Lead on ADA, and Deaf Talent Creative Lab to provide opportunities and ensure accessibility across productions. Next year, it will launch its inaugural partnership with Making Space, a talent recruitment and skills-based learning platform dedicated to increasing representation of people with disabilities in the film industry.
“The world remains a complicated place,” continued Gillespie. “But we all have the opportunity to validate the human experience in the work we do. If we are successful, we will tell inclusive stories that entertain audiences all over the world, while increasing our humanity toward one another.”
Amazon MGM Studios Releases Inclusion Policy and Playbook Two Year Lookback
Thursday, December 14, 2023