Michael B. Jordan Leads WarnerMedia’s New Diversity Policy Effort

By CultureBanx Team

  • Michael B. Jordan’s “Just Mercy” film is the 1st project with an inclusion rider

  • AT&T completed its acquisition of Time Warner for $85.4B in June

AT&T’s (T +0.26%) new WarnerMedia company has taken a big step to diversify Hollywood at all levels. The media conglomerate comprised of Warner Bros, Turner and HBO announced a company-wide policy on diversity and inclusion, in front of and behind the camera.

Why This Matters: The first project to fall under the new policy is Warner Bros' "Just Mercy," directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and starring Michael B. Jordan, according to deadline. Jordan was one of the first actors to confirm he’ll include inclusion riders in projects from his production company Outlier Society.

“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,” said Jordan.

The Los Angeles Times reported the concept of an inclusion rider, a provision that can be placed in an actors contract to mandate equity in casting and beyond, was first created by Stacy Smith, Director of USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

WarnerMedia stated it will issue annual reports on the initiative’s progress to establish benchmarks to measure future progress. Overall this is a show of good faith by AT&T to be a good steward of the major Hollywood assets it acquired after completing its $85.4 billion merger with Time Warner back in June. Shares of AT&T have slid down more than 15% this year.

Situational Awareness: A similar inclusion effort was made by director Ava DuVernay for her show on OWN "Queen Sugar," a series with Warner Bros. DuVernay hired all female directors, instead of being praised for the decision she faced a bit of  backlash.

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