- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Flipboard
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Tumblr
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
A year after Banijay Americas first collaborated with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively’s pipeline program Group Effort Initiative to help people from historically excluded backgrounds find jobs in unscripted television, the two entities have formally made a diversity employment pact.
Through the agreement, Banijay subsidiaries Endemol Shine North America, Bunim/Murray Productions, 51 Minds Entertainment and Truly Original will train GEI participants through panels, bootcamps and educational sessions and provide them with access to all of their U.S.-based shows, which include MasterChef and Celebrity Big Brother.
Reynolds and Lively financed and launched GEI in August 2020. The program, which is run through the couple’s respective companies Maximum Effort and B for Effort, seeks to get people from historically excluded groups into the industry pipeline through educational training, mentorship, paid internships, entry-level jobs and on-set PA gigs. GEI merged with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Evolve Entertainment Fund last June and to date has provided more than 1,000 participants with 159 full-time jobs and 673 paid internships.
“It’s incredible to see the support of GEI continue to grow throughout our industry. We are so thankful for early hand-raisers like Banijay Americas for committing to GEI placements across multiple projects,” Reynolds and Lively said in a joint statement. “This expansion into unscripted productions provides new access to GEI members and will further our mission to bring new voices into our industry.”
Over the past year, GEI participants have worked on such Banijay-produced shows as MasterChef, Celebrity Big Brother, The Miz and Mrs. and LEGO Masters. Last month, they spent a day at the company’s L.A. offices for panels and networking opportunities, including sessions with Banijay chairman of the Americas Cris Abrego and Endemol Shine North America chief content officer Sharon Levy.
“We are thrilled to partner with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively’s Group Effort Initiative to offer candidates from historically excluded groups the training, access and opportunity required to build careers in the entertainment business,” Abrego said in a statement. “At Banijay Americas, we are committed to supporting initiatives like these that translate into real jobs and meaningful change for our industry.”
Added executive vice president of enterprise inclusion and social responsibility Karla Pita Loor, “With this partnership underway, our focus now will be on providing ongoing support and training for these early-career creatives, as well as working closely with our network of industry partners to expand GEI’s reach across the unscripted world.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day