ON THE HEELS OF REIMAGINED INCLUSION RIDER, STAFF ME UP LAUNCHES CODED FOR INCLUSION, AN EFFORT LED BY #CHANGEHOLLYWOOD SUPPORTERS AMC NETWORKS, ENDEAVOR CONTENT, AND OUTLIER SOCIETY FELLOWSHIP, WITH HUE YOU KNOW AND COLOR OF CHANGE LEADING DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION AND ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURES
New York, NY, May 21, 2021 — In a commitment to create a holistic approach to address the diversity shortcomings which exist in Hollywood, Staff Me Up is expanding its hiring platform by launching Coded for Inclusion, an initiative highlighting underrepresented groups across the industry, endorsed by Color Of Change and led by an alliance of #ChangeHollywood supporters including Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society Fellowship, Hue You Know, AMC Networks and Endeavor Content. Currently the leading hiring platform for unscripted crew, Staff Me Up is building on its inclusive technology and infrastructure to expand into scripted television production. This initiative will tap into the racial and social justice equity expertise of Hue You Know and Color Of Change, to remove the barriers to entry for job seekers from historically underrepresented groups (BIPOC, women, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities and active military/veterans) and ensure studios and production houses have a direct pipeline to candidates – and provide transparency about available job opportunities. Setting out to overcome the obstacle that production leadership tends to hire predominantly from within their own networks and recognizing that diversity of voices and perspectives directly impacts creativity and innovation, Staff Me Up commits to enhancing the algorithm so that historically underrepresented talent are equitably elevated to studios and production companies, and to disrupt the typically limited and biased hiring practices that continue to block diversity and equity in the industry.
Staff Me Up currently has 350,000 crew profiles listed on its hiring platform, including over 100,000 people from historically underrepresented communities. Production crew who have experience in scripted film and television can self-identify and add unlimited credits to their profiles. With nearly 35,000 Black, Indigenous, People of Color already surfacing in Staff Me Up’s transformative DEI tools, Staff Me Up is uniquely positioned to affect change throughout the hiring process for both above-the-line and below-the-line talent in the scripted and unscripted space.
The Phase One Expansion will focus on scripted film and television in the United States, and subsequent phases will include launches in Canada and Europe. In addition to the hiring platform, Staff Me Up is building a robust production-focused vendor database, from craft services to insurance to equipment rentals.
The expanded hiring platform’s mission to address the challenges of equal representation in the hiring process includes:
- Diversity and Inclusion — dismantling the system and rewriting the rules of hiring, in service of a fairer, less insular and more equitable and diverse industry:
- Staff Me Up works alongside media companies as an effective mechanism to expand reach and deliver on their diversity commitments.
- The platform ensures fair distribution of job opportunities that have traditionally been hidden behind an exclusive veil.
- Job seekers from historically underrepresented backgrounds are directly invited to apply for open positions on the platform.
- Empowerment and Efficiency – the platform caters to the speed and adeptness required in Hollywood:
- Staff Me Up is a two-way street empowering both job seekers to find job openings in their area of expertise and to put themselves forward for opportunities, and employers to proactively search, discover, and reach out to talent.
- Job seekers will receive instant work alerts with the ability to apply immediately, indicating they are both interested and available.
- Staff Me Up supports below-the-line and above-the-line talent, including tools for agents and managers.
- Accountability – commitment to being transparent in hiring practices. If the postings are visible, so is the effort and ultimately the impact:
- The platform is expanding its Diversity and Inclusion analytics for production companies and studios to measure progress in their commitment to diversity as it relates to their hiring practices.
“To accelerate the pace of change, we need to accelerate the pace of building the infrastructure of change,” said Amity Paye, leader of the #ChangeHollywood initiative at Color Of Change. “This job matching platform has the potential to break the cycles of discriminatory hiring in the industry, providing the infrastructure that hiring managers need to make good on their parent companies’ commitments to achieving diversity and equity in the industry. That diversity not only affects the people working in the industry, but it affects the content the industry produces, which influences people all over the world.”
“Just four years ago I started Hue You Know as a database to assist in elevating underrepresented talent in the entertainment industry and in that time, I’ve seen the challenges that happen when a production leadership continues to hire people they know and underrepresented talent are not even aware of the opportunities as they are never posted. To date, the power has been entirely in the hands of the hiring manager,” said Bree Frank, Hue You Know. “I’m excited to give more agency to job seekers. With this evolution, we can remove the barriers and build a more efficient and direct pipeline to equitable, diverse and inclusive opportunities in front and behind the camera.”
“In Hollywood, it’s about who you know. This exact notion is what has perpetually excluded those from historically underrepresented backgrounds,” said Aisha Thomas-Petit, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, AMC Networks. “Staff Me Up solves for exclusion by familiarity and gives hiring managers and diverse talent visibility to one another. AMC Networks is proud to be a contributor to what we believe will be a game-changing platform that bridges the networking gap and opens pathways for historically underrepresented people to be seen and hired.”
“Three years ago, the words ‘Inclusion Rider’ became a household term, and while there have been some positive changes since then, we can’t deny the need to add more accountability, fill in the gaps between databases and job matching, and further open the roads for underrepresented talent,” said Dr. Tasmin Plater, Head of Human Resources, Endeavor Content. “We’re proud to team up with our partners on this important initiative. Staff Me Up is uniquely positioned to break down the barriers of entry into Hollywood and ensure a more diverse talent pool for consideration in our industry so underrepresented job seekers can finally see those job opportunities materialize.”
“For the past 18 years, Staff Me Up has been a pillar in the unscripted community. And as we continue to transform, we hope to be a catalyst that dismantles the default and transforms how hiring is done in the industry. It is our goal with this partnership to further the successes for people from historically underrepresented groups in both scripted and unscripted production,” said Daniel Rosenberg, Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Alliances, Staff Me Up.
About Color Of Change:
Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over 7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and governments to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. Visit www.colorofchange.org.
About AMC Networks:
AMC Networks is a global entertainment company known for its popular and critically-acclaimed content. Its portfolio of brands includes AMC, BBC AMERICA (operated through a joint venture with BBC Studios), IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, IFC Films, and a number of fast-growing streaming services, including the AMC+ premium streaming bundle, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK. AMC Studios, the Company’s in-house studio, production and distribution operation, is behind award-winning owned series and franchises, including The Walking Dead, the highest-rated series in cable history. The Company also operates AMC Networks International, its international programming business, and 25/7 Media, its production services business.
About Endeavor Content:
Endeavor Content is a global leader in the development, financing and sales of premium film, television, theater and audio content. Endeavor Content seeks to facilitate more ownership and creative freedom for artists, creators and production companies in an ever-evolving media landscape. Endeavor Content is a division of Endeavor, a global entertainment, sports and content company.
About HUE You Know:
Bree Frank founded HUE You Know (HUE) in February 2017 to support and empower other Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) in media and address the need for much-needed diversity, equity, and inclusion behind the scenes. HUE works with Hollywood to institutionalize diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging within a company through bespoke processes unique to an organization’s needs. The aim of the HUE collaborative partnership is for networks, studios and production companies to identify blind spots and curate a new methodology of hiring practices which allow for a new way in the industry while creating pipelines and opportunities for BIPOC professionals through mentoring and training programs.
About Staff Me Up:
Created in 2003, Staff Me Up (staffmeup.com) is the leading hiring and networking platform for media production, where people who work in the industry go to hire and get hired. Employers from more than 5,000 media companies use Staff Me Up’s search and hiring tools and over 350,000 registered production staff and crew find work and network, with access to jobs and insights to help them advance their careers. Simultaneously, talent agents utilize our resources to discover rising talent and to submit current clients to above-the-line opportunities.
Staff Me Up aims to be a catalyst for change by building inclusive tools to remove the barriers to entry for job seekers from historically underrepresented groups: BIPOC, women, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities and veterans.