The UCLA Division of Social Sciences will partner with Univision Communications Inc., two schools within the University of Southern California and multiple Hollywood industry groups to create the “Storytelling Unbound Handbook,” which collaborators hope will lead to practical changes around diversity, inclusion and equality efforts in the entertainment industry.
The partnership, which is led by Univision Communications Inc., or UCI, the leading media company serving Hispanic audiences and consumers in the United States, has brought together UCLA, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Producers Guild of America, the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, and University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, as well as the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
The mission of the “Storytelling Unbound Handbook” is to accelerate progress in the creation of inclusive content by gathering and sharing information on what’s currently working with regard to industry programs that embrace diverse voices, creators and content. It will be released in the second half of 2018 in print and online.
UCLA will coordinate data gathering and analysis efforts with research partners.
“If the findings from our annual Hollywood Diversity Report have taught us anything, it’s that we must identify the concrete practices which actually work to move the needle on the industry’s diversity problem,” said Darnell Hunt, dean of the division of social sciences in the UCLA College.
UCLA was among the first to launch a comprehensive look at the diversity of casts, writers, directors and producers in modern film and television, finding that Hollywood studios are leaving money on the table by not investing in content that feature diverse casts and creators. The fifth annual Hollywood Diversity Report, which is co-authored by Hunt and Ana-Christina Ramón, director of research and civic engagement for the division of social sciences, will be released in mid-February.
Researchers expect the forthcoming handbook to include information on barriers to entry for underrepresented populations, clarity on what defines a successful program, thematic organization of essential practices, deep dives into pipeline, employment and retention issues, and recommendations on how to implement programs and track successes in-house.
“Collaborators seek to raise the bar from identifying best practices to recommending essential practices,” said Tonia O’Connor, chief revenue officer for UCI.
“Fixing the diversity gap is essential to the future of the entertainment industry,” she said. “Young audiences are demanding it, and Univision is proud to lead the charge. Representation is at the core of everything we do.”
The “Storytelling Unbound” advisory committee will be chaired by the founder of the Hollywood Bureau of the NAACP, Vicangelo Bulluck, who brings more than 20 years of experience addressing issues of minority representation in the entertainment industry.