CAA Launches Online Database of TV Writers of Color

Amplify Database Screen shot-H 2018

The searchable directory was announced during the agency's second annual Amplify conference.

The excuses of not being able to find diverse writers are over.

CAA has launched Amplify Database, a searchable directory of more than 800 television scribes of color. The resource was unveiled Thursday morning at the agency's second annual Amplify conference, its leadership summit that focuses on multiculturalism and social justice.

"A while ago I began keeping lists," said CAA multicultural business development head Christy Haubegger, who announced the database alongside department executive Alan Smith and coordinator Nelson Jimenez. "If someone called us looking for a mid-level Asian female comedy writer, I didn't want anyone having the excuse of saying, 'We tried and we don't know any.'"

The lists "weren't anything you could call a system," Haubegger admitted. "When you actually want people to do the right thing, you have to make it so easy for them. You have to cut their meat for them. I realized we needed a centralized resource."

What was initially developed for in-house purposes became a resource for the industry at large — accessible and free of charge at Amplify Database to networks, studios, showrunners and other key industry hirers, who can dynamically filter the directory based on gender, ethnicity and position level (most recent and highest) to instantly generate a customized list of writers.

The 800-plus pool of writers was compiled based on voluntary self-identification and publicly available sources. All have at least one writing credit on a broadcast, cable or digital television project from the past five years. Each writer is listed with his or her reps, be they CAA clients or "people represented elsewhere," said Jimenez, to laughter from the summit audience.

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