Change the Lens calls for Black representation in the creative industry
With Black people representing approximately 15% of United States and London populations, equality seekers Change the Lens are calling for action amongst creative industry professionals to ensure their workforce reflects their audiences. As a collective of Black filmmakers, Change the Lens has made it their mission to eradicate the disproportionate skew existing today, that shows a limited number of Black creatives in roles across the commercial and music video industry. Through their pledge they are encouraging other industry leaders to join the efforts towards creating a more diverse creative sphere.
Following the magnification of the already existent racial inequality in the United States that sparked action across the globe, Change the Lens’ 2020 launch was the avenue for increased discourse around representation in media. Over 100 Black filmmakers came together, including Imperial Woodpecker’s Rohan Blair-Mangat who has recently joined the roster at Eleanor production company, Park Pictures’ director J.M. Harper, as well as Olympian and Grammy Award-winning director Savannah Leaf .The non-profit organisation sought out the support of production companies and talent agencies, urging them to critically assess their inadequacies through their rosters, and commit to incorporating a 15%+ proportion of Black talent.
Most recently, Change the Lens have extended their reach to advertising agencies. First on board was The Publicis Groupe, bringing on seven of the network’s agencies who have already agreed to the pledge. In a conscious effort for the across the board representation that is necessary to shift the racial structure of the creative industry, the pledge ensures that companies promise the 15% captures all levels and departments, including creative leadership and production roles. There is also an expectation that a head of diversity and inclusion will be consulted.
The list of pledgees consists of over 70 production companies, 12 talent agencies, a staggering number of directors, producers and department and advertising agencies including Saatchi and Saatchi, Team One, BBH Global, and more. For those looking for resources that navigate companies to Black and ethnic minority talent, Change the Lens have included information of Bid Black, an agency dedicated to normalising representation in advertising and showcasing Black creatives, Sporas, a network of cinematographers and camera crew of multi-ethnic backgrounds globally, and Array Crew, a service connecting hiring managers to underrepresented below-the-line crew.
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