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NBCUniversal has rebranded its diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in television under the new brand NBCU Launch.
Headed by senior vice president of TV programming diversity, equity and inclusion Jeanne Mau, the brand covers networks and streamers NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, Syfy, Universal Kids, USA and Peacock as well as Universal Studio Group, which comprises Universal Television, Universal Content Productions, Universal International Studios and Universal Television Alternative Studio.
“As we scale our efforts, we have a sizeable opportunity to positively impact storytelling now and in the decades to come,” Mau said in a statement. “At this moment in our culture where there is an abundance of diverse talent with amazing stories to tell, our hope is that the progress we make with NBCU Launch will create an unending ripple effect in our industry.”
“We united the network and studio DEI efforts to accelerate our impact,” Universal Studio Group chair Pearlena Igbokwe and Entertainment Content chair Susan Rovner said in a joint statement. “Our new joint approach will create a clearer and more seamless pathway for meaningful and lasting change at our company, and hopefully, well beyond.”
NBCU Launch is launching with the following new and ongoing pipeline development initiatives, with more to come:
Writing: The new NBC TV Writers Program is replacing the company’s long-running Writers on the Verge. Applications are open now through March 7.
Directing: The NBCU Launch TV Directors Program (renamed from the Emerging Director Program) for nonwhite male and nonbinary directors and the Female Forward initiative both give first episode credits to participants. Applications will be accepted beginning March 14.
Below-the-line: The new NBCU Launch Below the Line Traineeship is a paid program that gives individuals from historically excluded backgrounds hands-on experience across various below-the-line departments (including production office, grip and electric, costume, VFX and props) in NBCU TV and film productions, including Angelina, Bel-Air and Candy. Participants are selected from those currently pursuing below-the-line vocational training with the program’s local industry partners, which include Hollywood Cinema Production Resources, Georgia Film Academy and New Orleans Video Access Center.
Casting: The NBCU Launch Talent and Casting Assistant Program is a 10-month paid program wherein an ethnically diverse group of assistants will work in NBCU’s internal talent and casting departments and then an independent casting office. Candidates are sourced from the Casting Society of America’s educational arm, Casting Society Cares.
The NBCU Launch team includes vice president Tara Halloran, senior director Robert Baltazar, manager Michael Pogarian, coordinators Maggie Herman and Ivy Penn, and Mau’s coordinator Jacqueline Jasso.
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