Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams had the honor of being one of the people to usher in a more diverse and inclusive cast to the beloved science fiction franchise. Now it looks like he may be trying to do the same in his own production company here on earth, and not in a galaxy far far away.
The film maker and producer just enacted a new hiring policy in his own Bad Robot productions. The goal of the policy is to ensure that any future project will have women and minorities equal to their proportional population in the United States.
“What we realized was, it has to be a systematic approach,” Abrams told the New York Times during it's New Work Summit Conference held last March 1.
The director sent out a memo last week to agencies and studios that any list of actors, writers, directors, and production staff to be considered for hiring should reflect the population of women and minorities in the country.
“Any list that we get—it needs to be, at the very least, representative of the country we live in. Which roughly breaks down to: 50% women, 12% black, 18% percent Hispanic, 6% Asian.” Abrams said.
The memo also stated that the list should include "candidates whose religious or sexual orientation could provide us with voices that are underrepresented.”
But it did not say that there will be a commitment to hire. In the memo Abrams said that it isn't about quotas or political correctness but about making sure that “the pool of talent we choose from is as rich and representative as possible.”
This move by the director comes amidst the controversy in the recently concluded 88th Academy Awards , wherein the Academy failed to nominate a non-white actor in all acting categories for the second year in a row. “The Oscar issue was symptomatic of a problem; it wasn’t the problem,” Abrams said about the issue. “The Oscars is the last stop on the train. The first stop is what gets made.” he stated.