#OscarsSoWhite Creator April Reign Launches Akuarel, a Database to Help People of Color Find Work in Hollywood

The project has been in development for two years.
April Reign
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Last week saw the official launch of Akuarel, a digital database for minorities seeking work in Hollywood and other creative industries. It’s the brainchild of April Reign, best known as the creator of #OscarsSoWhite, who’s been working on the initiative for two years; the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association built the website itself and partnered with the Motion Picture Association of America on the project.

“This answers one of the issues raised by #OscarsSoWhite of studios saying, ‘We want to work with people from marginalized communities, but we just don’t know where to find them,’” Reign told Mic in a recent interview. “This is going to drop them right in their lap.”

“Our main objective now is to get Akuarel populated by the talent and the stakeholders themselves,” added David Morgan of the MMCA. “The value to the studios will be once it’s sufficiently populated. A lot of the studios were already partnering with us on sponsorship arrangements.”

Several whitewashing controversies have erupted in recent years, with productions ranging from “Ghost in the Shell” to “Doctor Strange” being criticized for featuring white actors as characters who were originally intended to be different ethnicities.

Akuarel, which Reign named after the French word “aquarelle,” will be free for users. Studios, however, will need to pay for a subscription to access the user database. Learn more at Akuarel.

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