Hollywood's 2017 awards season features a marked increase in the diversity of nominees, and UCLA has played some role in that progress.
Directed for 15 years by Darnell Hunt, the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA and its Hollywood Diversity Report continue to have profound influence on the entertainment industry, which is so instrumental in shaping attitudes.
The brainchild of Hunt, the report is cited everywhere. "It certainly has influenced discourse," he says.
Garnering funding for the first issue was an uphill battle. "But because we have demonstrated to industry partners that diversity is linked directly to their bottom line, they're eager to support us," says Hunt. "They really want to know how they're doing compared with their peers."
Sony, Time Warner, and ABC are among the top supporters, but many other entertainment organizations contribute. So that no one sees the project as partisan, the center limits the amount of support from any one entity.
UCLA also educates professionals committed to an entertainment industry that reflects the real world. School of Theater, Film and Television alumna Channing Dungey '91, president of ABC Entertainment Group, is the first black president of a major broadcast network. Other UCLA alums at ABC include Tim McNeal '83, VP of Creative Talent Development & Inclusion at Disney/ABC, and Christine Cadena '84, VP of Multicultural Initiatives.
Funding is essential to producing the report, which is as labor intensive as it is influential.
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