Women in Film Los Angeles on Wednesday launched Hire Her Back, an initiative to call on entertainment companies to continue to seek gender and racial equality in their hiring as the the industry looks to return to film and TV production after the COVID-19 shutdown.
Key to the initiative is the Hire Her Back Fund, a partnership among WIF, New York Women in Film & Television and Women In Film and Television Atlanta to provide grants to women in the industry whose livelihoods have been adversely affected by the pandemic. ShivHans Pictures founder Shivani Rawat has provided seed funding, and more contributions can be made at WiF.org. More info will be available next month about applying for the grants, which will be administered by The Actors Fund.
WIF said Wednesday that the overall campaign will be rolled out and amplified over the coming weeks, will also call attention to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on women and people of color, along with highlighting the talent of women in the industry.
“With the increased commitment to parity across the entertainment community in recent years, we are seeing an uptick in the number of women working in front of and behind the camera,” said Amy Baer, WIF’s board president. “We cannot lose this important momentum because of entertainment job losses related to the COVID-19 crisis.”
The news comes as Los Angeles County said today that film and TV production can resume Friday with protocols, which are still being hashed out by unions and companies. Most production has been completely shuttered by the pandemic since March, leaving as many as a half-million out of work industrywide.
“With the convergence of a pandemic and the national uprising in defense of Black lives, it must be made clear that current market structures have to be transformed if we are serious about creating equity,” WIF executive director Kirsten Schaffer said. “We call on leaders to join us in building a new normal that prioritizes equity and career sustainability for women, especially women of color, in the screen industries.”