Skip to main content

Starz Working With Lawmakers To Create Entertainment Diversity Month

STARZ Inaugural #TakeTheLead Summit Joshua Jackson, STARZ Kathryn Busby, Lauren Ridloff and STARZ President and CEO Jeffrey Hirsch
Joshua Jackson, Starz’ Kathryn Busby, Lauren Ridloff and STARZ CEO Jeffrey Hirsch at the @TakeTheLead Summit (Image credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images)

Starz is working with lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to establish September as National Leading Entertainment and Arts Through Diversity Month.

A resolution to recognize the need for more representation of women and underrepresented communities was introduced  by Reps Yvette Clarke, (D-N.Y.), Hakeem Jeffries, (D-N.Y.), Nanette Barragán, (D-Cal.), Judy Chu, (D-N.Y.) and Grace Meng (D-N.Y.).

“At Starz, we remain deeply committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion with premium content by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences. We believe in giving creators a platform to use their own voices to tell their own stories to choose how the world sees them,” said Starz CEO Jeffrey Hirsch. “The National LEAD Month recognizes the importance of improving representation in front and behind the screen, and throughout organizations, in hopes to inspire others to do the same. We are proud to work alongside Representatives Clarke, Meng, Barragán and Jeffries to amplify this issue in Washington, and to help drive conversations that will keep advancing us culturally.”  

Last year, Starz launched its #TakeTheLead initiative, a comprehensive effort deepening the company’s existing commitment to narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences.

Starz commissioned an inclusion study in partnership with The UCLA Center for Scholars & Storytellers, which confirmed the media company is significantly above industry averages in several categories.

The study found that 63.2% of series leads on Starz Original Series are people of color and 57.9% are women, 54.6% of showrunners at Starz are women and 45.5% are people of color, 47.1% of executive producers are people of color and 41.2% are women, 29.1% of writers are women of color and 49.3% of directors are people of color and 43.7% are women

“As the producers of the content and imagery that our nation experiences, entertainment companies have a moral obligation to ensure that their product reflects our society,” House Democratic Caucus chair Hakeem Jeffries said. This bill calls on these companies to make diversity and inclusion a priority, encourages stakeholders from across all industries to support and further these efforts and promotes the importance of representation and telling diverse stories. I am proud to join Reps. Clarke, Chu, Meng and Barragán in cosponsoring this important resolution” ■

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.