Amazon Studios Prioritizing Disability Inclusion
The Hollywood studio behind “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “One Night in Miami…” and “Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm” is committing to put more people with disabilities on screen.
Amazon Studios said this month that it will take new steps to increase inclusion of people with disabilities and other underrepresented groups in films and series.
The commitment comes in a new inclusion policy and a playbook that outlines “guidelines for its collaborators in the creative community.”
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“We wanted to move beyond good intentions to creating mechanisms that hold us accountable to a high bar,” said Latasha Gillespie, executive head of diversity, equity and inclusion at Amazon Studios. “This inclusion policy and inclusion playbook adds important, additional depth and guidance for our internal teams and external partners to ensure we continue to advance our shared mission of amplifying the best creatives and content around the world.”
The inclusion policy covers story development, hiring and production and includes expectations for documentation and meeting certain goals.
Namely, Amazon Studios said it is aiming to include one speaking character with a disability, one from the LGBTQIA+ community as well as three characters from regionally underrepresented racial, ethnic or cultural groups in each production. In addition, the policy indicates that actors should be cast in roles that match their identity in terms of gender, nationality, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and disability.
There are also goals related to seeking bids from a diverse group of production vendors or suppliers and to address pay equity.
The studio indicated that productions will need to complete a report template covering the inclusion goals within one month of wrapping up principal photography.
Amazon Studios said it worked with experts at the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund and other groups to create the new policies, which the company said are intended to minimize biases and increase representation in front of and behind the camera.