Two of Hollywood’s most renowned filmmakers, Ron Howard and Ava DuVernay, have teamed up to launch an initiative aimed at revolutionizing hiring in the entertainment industry.
Howard’s Impact App, a professional recruiting network tailored for television and film production, is pooling its resources with DuVernay’s Array Crew, a workforce database designed to connect underrepresented candidates with producers and entertainment executives.
One of the key features of the partnership is the introduction of Array Crew profile badges in the Impact app that allow users who identify as belonging to minority groups – including those who are under-represented based on gender identity, sexual identity, race, ethnicity and other backgrounds – will be able to show their diverse identities.
DuVernay said the integration of the badges aims to simplify the process of hiring diverse crews for directors and executives.
“The idea is that when you walk into these crews, like when you walk into every space, you want to see all kinds of people contributing to the story. It’s so important to the way we do film and television,” she shared. “CBS Mornings.”
Howard said the idea came about organically in response to the entertainment industry’s demand for diverse talent.
“We all started having conversations and realized we can do more together than apart,” he said.
Tyler Mitchell, who oversees Howard’s Impact app, and Brian Grazer, Howard’s partner at Imagine Entertainment, also played an integral role in the partnership.
Despite recent developments involving diversity chiefs stepping down from prominent positions at major studios, both Howard and DuVernay said they believe the industry must remain committed to advancing diversity and inclusion, especially in the current times.and prioritize the well-being of all individuals involved in the creative process.
“I don’t think Hollywood is as vigorously and passionately committed as it was a few years ago,” said DuVernay.
DuVernay, who recently became the first black woman selected for the Venice Film Festival’s official competition, said it is important there is communication and understanding between stakeholders to ensure a swift resolution to the Hollywood strike.
“I urge the studios to really open their hearts and listen to what is being said. Economic interests are at stake, we are sure, but this is a human issue and people need to be able to survive and thrive and we should all be able to do that,” she said.