ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey, filmmakers Lee Daniels (The Butler) and Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and chairman of NBCUniversal International Group and NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises Cesar Conde are among those who will take part in CAA Amplify’s invitation-only event June 27 in Ojai.
This is the second year the agency has held the event, which brings together leading artists and executives of color from entertainment, sports, media, brands, technology and social justice to discuss and accelerate the growth of inclusion.
Those also scheduled to be in attendance will be NBA all-star, entrepreneur, producer, and philanthropist Carmelo Anthony; Algorithmic Justice League founder Joy Buolamwini; former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro; Luke Cage executive producer, creator, and showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale; director and chief curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem Thelma Golden; The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights president and CEO Vanita Gupta; NAACP Legal Defense Fund president and director-counsel Sherrilyn Ifill; journalist and author Lisa Ling; writer-actor Al Madrigal; writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood; producer-activist Heather Rae; Vera Institute of Justice president and director Nick Turner; Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya; and Emmy Award winning screenwriter and producer Alan Yang (Master of None), among others.
Topics will include disruption and opportunity, technology, leadership in the creative process, criminal justice reform, civil rights and immigration.
“The innovative business opportunities and new relationships formed last year at CAA Amplify are helping further elevate the value of diversity and inclusion across our industries,” said CAA’s Ruben Garcia. “This year, we’re excited to build on our collaboration with our philanthropic arm, the CAA Foundation, to program conversations around social and cultural issues, and provide guests with the tools and resources they need to make a positive impact on our world.”
CAA has been pushing diversity for a few years now, as have the major television networks, and film is catching up. Last year at CAA Amplify, the agency unveiled the CAA Motion Picture Cast Diversity Index. The primary goal of the research was to determine the correlative factors of diverse casting, diverse audiences, and box office success; and their broader implications on the business case for diversity in motion picture programming.
The index includes 603 theatrical films released from January 2014-April 2018 and focuses on cast ethnicity for 5,953 actors/actresses, and is updated and re-evaluated quarterly. Seven of the top 10 grossing films in both 2016 and 2017 delivered opening weekend audiences that were more than 50% non-white. As measured by domestic opening weekend box office, at every budget level, a cast that is at least 30% non-white outperforms a release that is less diverse. Furthermore, among films at the $100 million+ budget level, the cumulative worldwide box office for those with a more diverse cast was $591 million, contrasted with the less-diverse cast films which averaged $478 million, a striking $113 million difference.
In 2015, CAA launched The Writers Boot Camp, a one-day workshop designed to help accelerate the careers of diverse, emerging television writers; and You’re Up (now Amplify: Next Gen), fostering the development of multicultural future industry leaders. CAA’s Creators Summit Series is comprised of networking and educational events which give greater access and opportunity to underrepresented communities, including people of color, women, and LGBTQ+. CAA, in partnership with the American Black Film Festival, launched the Creators Summit at ABFF, providing insights into the process of pitching and developing film, television, and web-based projects and helping filmmakers forge relationships with studio and network executives and industry experts; and, in tandem with GLAAD, the CAA-GLAAD Creators Summit, which aimed to increase authentic, inclusive representation of the LGBTQ community in entertainment.