New York City Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin has announced #NominateNYC, a new initiative that will work towards bringing greater diversity to the film and entertainment industry. According to recent reports from the USC Institute for Diversity and Empowerment at Annenberg and UCLA’s Bunche Center for African American Studies, women directed only 4 percent of the top-grossing films of 2014, while people of color directed 13 percent. Women and people of color accounted for less than 10 percent of writers of the top 163 films of that year. People of color held 13 percent of lead roles in the 163 top films of 2014, and women 26 percent. Additionally, across 4,610 speaking characters in the 100 top grossing films of 2014, only 19 were lesbian, gay or bisexual, and zero were transgender.
Through November 15 the #NominateNYC initiative will feature a portal on MOME’s website for New York City-based entertainment professionals of varying backgrounds to proactively nominate themselves or someone they know for consideration for membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
In addition, the portal can be utilized by individuals interested in learning more about membership requirements to guilds, unions and other film industry associations. The website will include links to a variety of organizations that represent writers, actors, musicians, directors and other creative professionals such as the Directors Guild of America, Writers Guild of America East, NY Women in Film and Television, and Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians.
#NominateNYC will support the recent goal set by the Academy to increase the number of women and diverse Academy members by 2020. Notably, #NominateNYC will be useful for New Yorkers who fall within the Academy’s requirements to submit their own qualifications, or those of someone they know, for possible consideration for sponsorship by current Academy members for a specific branch. Academy membership branches include actors, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, make-up artists and hairstylists, music, producers, public relations, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers. Currently, the Academy’s process is by sponsorship only. The portal can provide a pool of candidates of interest, with the goal of reducing barriers to identifying possible candidates with diverse backgrounds. All 17 branches will be listed on MOME's website, and all qualified industry professionals are welcome to submit their information to the portal. After the November 15 deadline, MOME will hand over submissions to the Academy.
“Our differences are what make our culture more vibrant, more beautiful, and more dynamic – and having greater diversity in media and entertainment creates more compelling stories for all of us to enjoy,” said Menin. “Given that New York City is home to the nation’s most diverse pool of entertainment industry professionals, our Agency is uniquely suited to assist entertainment industry organizations in achieving their goals to expand and diversify their membership.”
For more information on #NominateNYC, visit NYC.gov/NominateNYC.