Paramount's Jim Gianopulos Launches New Studio-wide Diversity Initiative

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Jim Gianopulos

The effort involves a Content Creative Council, which will review how successful individual projects are in terms of inclusion.

Launching a new initiative to champion diversity and inclusion, Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos has instituted a Content Creation Council at the studio in order “to enhance access and opportunities for groups historically underrepresented in the media industry.”

Describing the new effort in a memo he sent to studio employees today, Gianopulos explained that as part of the development and greenlight process, a plan will be developed for each project that looks at storylines, talent both in front of and behind the camera, vendors and shooting locations.

After a project is complete, the production team will then report their results to the newly established Content Creation Council, which, Gianopulos said “will compile and analyze all data to develop metrics, establish benchmarks and ensure ongoing accountability. As an organization, we hope this is a big step toward progress by showing that we are committed to doing better each and every day.”

The new initiative applies not just to the studio’s film division, but also its other divisions such as television, animation and Paramount Players, which develops properties from sister Viacom units.

Paramount also recently adopted the Time’s Up and Annenberg Inclusion Initiatives 4% Challenge, promising to announce a project with a female director in the next 18 months.

“Together, we strive to create a community that reflects the culturally-rich and diverse world in which we live,” the Paramount chief said.

Gianopulos’ memo to Paramount employees follows:

Paramount Family,

I want to follow up on an important topic that I touched on in this morning’s Spark welcoming remarks. I am proud to announce a new commitment we are making at the studio that we hope will have a broad ranging impact across our company culture and our broader community. 

At Paramount, we believe that in order to create content that reflects and entertains our global audiences, we must be dedicated champions of diversity and inclusion. We recognize that we are on a journey, and we haven’t yet reached our destination. To continue to build on our commitment, as part of the development and green light process, our productions will be required to complete a plan designed to enhance access and opportunities for groups historically underrepresented in the media industry. Special attention will be paid to our storylines, our talent in front of and behind the camera, our vendors and our shooting locations. 

After a project is completed, the production team will report their results to a newly established Content Creation Council, which will compile and analyze all data to develop metrics, establish benchmarks, and ensure ongoing accountability. As an organization, we hope this is a big step toward progress by showing that we are committed to doing better each and every day. 

This commitment comes on the heels of our announcement that we will be participating in The TIME’S UP and Annenberg Inclusion Initiative’s 4% Challenge, to announce a project with a female director on a feature film in the next 18 months. We are confident that we will meet this commitment not only in our film division, but in our TV, Animation and Players divisions as well.

Together, we strive to create a community that reflects the culturally-rich and diverse world in which we live. You will hear more about these initiatives as we progress.

Best,

Jim