This past weekend in Los Angeles has seen protests over the death of George Floyd, as well as those calling for police reform and racial justice, continue throughout the city. Joining participants on Saturday in Century City was actor Michael B. Jordan. During a rousing speech, Jordan called upon Hollywood studios to rethink their hiring practices and welcome more Black artists and players into the fold, citing recent strides in gender parity as a model for what can be achieved.
The star of “Black Panther” and “Creed” appeared at the protest organized by the Big 4 agencies (ICM Partners, CAA, UTA, and WME), standing in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. In the film “Fruitvale Station,” Jordan played Oscar Grant, a man killed by police in Oakland, California on New Year’s Day 2009.
“I use my power to demand diversity, but it’s time the studios, the agencies, all these buildings that we’re standing in front of, I wish they would do the same,” Jordan said. “You committed to a 50/50 gender parity in 2020. Where is the challenge to commit to black hiring? Black content led by Black executives, Black consultants. Are you policing our storytelling as well? Let us bring our darkness to the light.”
Jordan called upon the agencies themselves to support Black culture. “The sneakers, sports, the comedic culture that you guys love so much, w’ve dealt with discrimination at very turn. Can you help fund Black brands?” he said. “A great agent doesn’t have to be a great agent could advocate for relationships with organizers.”
Michael B. Jordan most recently played Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson in the film “Just Mercy,” which distributor Warner Bros. is offering free for rental throughout June on VOD platforms as an educational tool to teach viewers about systemic racism. The film originally opened last Christmas in theaters.
Dozens of protests took place throughout Los Angeles on Saturday, with thousands of people calling for the end of racial injustice in the United States.
Actor Michael B Jordan speaks to protestors
“Where is the challenge to commit to Black hiring? Black content lead by Black executives, Black consultants.”
(🎥 @producerTommy / @blacklovedoc) #BlackLivesMatter #BlackMediaMatters pic.twitter.com/0yCKwwSGOg
— NICK HAMILTON (@NickHamiltonLA) June 6, 2020