Amazon Studios Sets Inclusion Policy And Playbook For Its Content And Productions

·3 min read

Amazon Studios on Wednesday unveiled a division-wide policy that underscores its commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity for its content and productions, along with a “playbook” that includes guidelines for its collaborators in the creative community.

The policy covers four primary areas that offer actionable recommendations to continue to seek out storytelling that amplifies diverse voices throughout all aspects of the production process: Developing Stories and Characters, Hiring and Production, Reporting and Documentation, and Meeting Goals.

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The policy includes specific goals for Amazon Studios-based productions, including:

  • Each film or series with a creative team of three or more people in above-the-line roles (Directors, Writers, Producers) should ideally include a minimum 30% women and 30% members of an underrepresented racial/ethnic group. This aspirational goal will increase to 50% by 2024.

  • Casting actors whose identity (gender, gender identity, nationality, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability) aligns with the character they will be playing.

  • Aiming to include one character from each of the following categories in speaking roles, with minimum 50% of these to be women: LGBTQIA+, person with a disability, and three regionally underrepresented race/ethnic/cultural groups. A single character can fulfill one or more of these identities.

  • Seeking at least three bids from vendors or suppliers on productions, one of which must be from a woman-owned business and one from a minority-owned business.

  • Pay equity across casting, behind the camera staff and crew, and for vendors and suppliers.

  • “With the establishment of our Inclusion Policy and Inclusion Playbook, Amazon Studios has committed itself to being a thought and action leader in the transformation of our industry,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “We know how much work there is to be done to improve representation both on camera and behind the scenes, and it starts at home, with us. With clear directives and a commitment to accountability, these guides provide a path toward a more equitable future, both on- and off-camera.”

The company said it will provide a report template for its productions to indicate whether these expectations were met, to be submitted within one month of the completion of principal photography.

Read the full documents here.

Amazon Studios said it worked with Dr. Stacy Smith and Dr. Katherine Pieper of USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, Brenda Robinson of the International Documentary Association and Gamechanger Films on the creation of the policy and playbook, and consulted groups including GLAAD, Illuminative, Think Tank for Inclusion & Equity, and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund.

“With the establishment of our Inclusion Policy and Inclusion Playbook, Amazon Studios has committed itself to being a thought and action leader in the transformation of our industry,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “We know how much work there is to be done to improve representation both on camera and behind the scenes, and it starts at home, with us. With clear directives and a commitment to accountability, these guides provide a path toward a more equitable future, both on- and off-camera.”

The initiatives were first reported today by Variety.

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