WarnerMedia, the entertainment conglomerate owned by AT&T, has revealed its inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Report, surveying the year 2018 across its corporate operations, along with its films, TV series, and digital content — spanning offerings in theaters and on networks from TNT to HBO and beyond.
While the key takeaways reveal near-parity among men and women across WarnerMedia’s global workforce, at 54% male and 46% female, and 53% male and 47% female across its U.S. workforce, there remains work to be done to increase equality for people of color across WarnerMedia programming, with people of color representing 24% of onscreen roles and 24% of behind-the-camera positions across non-film scripted offerings. The percentage of people of color among Warner Bros. staffers, however, is on the up.
Non-film scripted programming includes 34% women in onscreen roles, and 23% women behind the camera. So while Warner properties have seen a great increase in diversity and inclusion within their staffing, actually production figures in terms of parity have a ways to go. See below snapshots from the report.
On the film side, however, the WarnerMedia report cites Warner Bros. 2018 smash hit “Crazy Rich Asians” — which had something for every audience demographic — as a milestone for the company. The film took in $238.5 million globally, and became the highest-grossing American rom-com in a decade. “Crazy Rich” was also the first Hollywood production to feature an all-Asian cast in 25 years. (Ironically, the film’s sequel is now in the crosshairs of a pay disparity dispute involving the film’s female screenwriter.)
WarnerMedia added its first Diversity & Inclusion policy in September 2018 to deploy “best efforts to ensure that diverse actors and crew members are considered for film, television and other projects, and to work with directors and producers who also seek to promote greater diversity and inclusion in our industry,” per WarnerMedia.
This study offers a diagnosis of the efficacy of that initiative, with John Stankey, WarnerMedia CEO, offering this statement: “Across the WarnerMedia companies, we have a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, and consider these values an important part of our culture and a business priority… While I’m incredibly proud of what this report shows and our ongoing dedication to transparency, I recognize that we’ve got more work to do at every level. We know diversity, inclusion and belonging are important to our employees, our creative partners, our customers and to our success.”
This report offers a glimpse into what an organization can and can’t yet achieve when serious efforts toward diversity and inclusion are implemented. On the company’s film slate, Warner Bros. has made a concerted effort to bring more women and people of color to the helm of its hottest projects, from director Destin Daniel Cretton’s “Just Mercy” (an Oscar contender this year) this year, to Cathy Yan’s “Birds of Prey” and Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman 1984,” both of which are due in 2020.
The full report, which is available via WarnerVideo here, includes the below video message from John Stankey.