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Amazon Studios unveils inclusion policy, “playbook” for creative community

Amazon Studios has released its inclusion policy and “playbook” with the goal of improving the company’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and equal representation for both its content and its production ...
June 17, 2021

Amazon Studios has released its inclusion policy and “playbook” with the goal of improving the company’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and equal representation for both its content and its production process.

Amazon says the goal of the new policy is to help the company “seek out stories and storytelling that amplify voices across race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability (including mental health), body size, gender, gender identity, and gender expression for the global Prime Video audience.”

The inclusion policy covers four main areas: developing stories and characters; hiring and production; reporting and documentation; and meeting goals. The aim is to ensure meaningful representation across all aspects of production, both in the stories that are told and the people hired to tell them.

Among the specific goals laid out in the policy are directives for each film or series with a creative team of three people or more to have at least 30% women and 30% POC, with a goal of increasing that ratio to 50% by 2024; seeking at least three bids from vendors on productions, with at least one from a woman-owned business and one from a minority-owned business; and pay equity in front of and behind the camera, including for vendors and suppliers.

In creating its inclusion policy and playbook, Amazon Studios worked with Dr. Stacy Smith and Dr. Katherine Pieper of USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, as well as with Brenda Robinson of the International Documentary Association and Gamechanger Films. The studio also consulted with organizations devoted to increasing visibility of underrepresented or marginalized people, including GLAAD, Illuminative, Think Tank for Inclusion & Equity, and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund.

“Amazon Studios has long prioritized telling innovative and inclusive stories from a diverse range of creative talent, delighting our global audiences. We wanted to move beyond good intentions to creating mechanisms that hold us accountable to a high bar. This Inclusion Policy and Inclusion Playbook adds important, additional depth and guidance for our internal teams and external partners to ensure we continue to advance our shared mission of amplifying the best creatives and content around the world,” said Latasha Gillespie, executive head of diversity, equity and inclusion at Amazon Studios in a statement.

“With the establishment of our Inclusion Policy and Inclusion Playbook, Amazon Studios has committed itself to being a thought and action leader in the transformation of our industry,” added Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “We know how much work there is to be done to improve representation both on camera and behind the scenes, and it starts at home, with us. With clear directives and a commitment to accountability, these guides provide a path toward a more equitable future, both on- and off-camera.”

The Amazon Studios inclusion policy and playbook can be viewed here.

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