Michael B. Jordan has played a few heroes in his career, from Apollo Creed in the “Creed” films to the real-life hero and civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson in the powerful “Just Mercy.”
Now the charismatic actor is taking on his greatest challenge: Advancing and advocating a powerful plan to eradicate systemic racism in the industry he has given so much to.
Jordan, the CEO of his own production company, Outlier Society, and Color of Change announced the #ChangeHollywood initiative today.
It lays a “Roadmap” for making the creative industries more inclusive and to promote Black artists, as explained by The Hollywood Reporter.
Among the major recommendations:
Divest from the police.
Invest in anti-racist content and authentic Black stories.
Invest in Black talent and careers.
Invest in Black communities.
Under each major bullet point, it offers concrete advice. For example, under the Divest from the police section, it suggests using independent security firms.
It also states, “Do not rely on police or any other authorities who promote content that normalizes injustice to shape or vet content about the criminal justice system.”
The Roadmap offers guidance to everyone in the industry, from the lowest staff member in an agency to a studio CEO.
“Do what you can. Keep moving forward,” it states.
“If you are an individual producer at a studio or network, or a staff member at an agency or other industry organization, you probably cannot change company policy all on your own. But you can use the Roadmap Resources … to make different decisions — for instance, hiring different consultants or different security staffing. You can also use the recommendations … to organize other staff and start conversations in your organization that encourage management to engage with the Roadmap, and ultimately adopt its recommendations.
“If you are individual talent or an influencer, you can negotiate certain Roadmap recommendations into your contract (where possible), and you can use your voice and influence to promote the Roadmap recommendations and resources.
“If you are an executive, showrunner or a decision maker in an organization, you can adopt these recommendations and invest in them. You can also participate in conversations and task forces that are emerging across the industry to help change practices at the enterprise level.”
“This roadmap is just the beginning of the journey to racial justice. We are all accomplices in the fight to transform Hollywood, and we invite content creators and industry leaders to join us in working together to #ChangeHollywood,” Jordan said. “We look forward to including a variety of voices in doing what we do best: telling authentic stories, bringing people together, partnering with influential artists, and changing the rules of the game.”
Two years ago, Jordan announced all his Outlier Society productions would adhere to an inclusion rider. He then partnered with WarnerMedia to craft a companywide policy there. “Just Mercy” was produced under it.
Outlier Society and Color of Change are currently negotiating with such companies as WME and Endeavor Content to embrace the Roadmap, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter protests have grown across the country. Jordan has marched with protesters. Now it’s clear he’s willing to use his clout to fight for meaningful, lasting change.
At this critical moment, the studios would be foolish not to listen to him.
For more, head to The Hollywood Reporter.