Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan Calls For Hollywood To “Divest From Police”

Black Panther and Creed actor Michael B. Jordan joined the organization Color of Change to call for Hollywood to “divest from police.”

Color of Change describes itself as “dedicated to building power for Black writers, producers and creators. We work to raise industry standards around hiring and representation, resulting in more authentic portrayals of Black people and issues onscreen, more nuanced Black stories, more diversity in writers’ rooms, and real accountability when media companies cross the line.”

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The group also claims to “collaborate with writers, producers and executives to ensure characters and storylines are multi-dimensional and authentic. We consult on projects at any point in the development process – briefing writers on issues like criminal justice, gentrification, and Black families, to name a few, collaborating on storylines, advising on rough cuts and scripts.”

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They tout working with Disney-owned ABC, “Netflix, HBO, and A&E on series including series like Grey’s Anatomy, Seven Seconds, The Red Line, Surviving R. Kelly, and Blindspotting.”

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Recently the organization shared what they describe as “Color of Change and Michael B. Jordan’s roadmap to real change.”

Before diving into the nitty gritty of the roadmap they call for four basic demands. First, they want Hollywood to “divest from police.”

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Second, they want Hollywood to “invest in Anti-Racist content.” Next, they want Hollywood to “invest in Black Talent and Careers.” Finally, they want Hollywood to “invest in Black Communities.”

They claim this road map answers “the call to fight systemic racism.”

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Their website offers furthers details on what exactly the organization is demanding from Hollywood.

In an introduction to the roadmap Jordan along with Rashad Robinson write, “The history of racism in Hollywood is long and unforgivable: excluding Black talent, silencing Black voices, derailing Black careers, and using both the economic and cultural power of the industry to prop up police departments and the status quo of the criminal justice system.”

They continue, “We can break the pattern, and change that trajectory. The understanding of Hollywood’s impact on society has never been more widespread, and the demand for addressing systemic racism in Hollywood has never been greater. We must answer the call to action.”

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Jordan and Robinson go on to outline their goals, “#ChangeHollywood is a Color Of Change initiative, in collaboration with Michael B. Jordan. Our goal is to provide a roadmap for action: concrete steps that individuals and organizations in Hollywood can take to move the industry toward racial justice.”

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Michael B. Jordan stars as Adonis Creed and Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa in CREED II, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures film.
Credit: Barry Wetcher / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures © 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The two continue, “Collaborations like ours — between an actor/producer on the inside, and a racial justice advocate on the outside — can demonstrate the change that’s possible and also provide resources that support a wide range of individuals and organizations to take action.”

“Together, we aim to rally people across the industry, educate decision makers, and secure institutional commitments to changes that matter,” Jordan and Robinson add.

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As for specifics the roadmap breaks it down by the four sections. The first section is “Divest From The Police.”

The roadmap states, “Hollywood must not use its economic power to prop up local police departments and other authorities who threaten and exploit Black lives, or promote anti-Black practices.”

It adds, “Instead, where you have or can build the power to do so, advocate for alternatives and for reinvestment in Black communities.”

The second section is titled “Invest in Anti-Racist Content and Authentic Black Stories.”

This section states, “Hollywood must use its cultural power to elevate nuanced portrayals of Black lives, and represent the reality of the criminal justice system.”

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They want you to hire “cultural consultants, issue experts and others who can help ensure authentic portrayals of Black people and issues affecting Black people, and who can help avoid harmful and misleading representations related to crime, law and race.”

It also states to “ensure there are multiple senior level Black executives with decision-making authority and marketing supervision in your organization.”

Next, “Invest in Black Talent and Careers” states, “Hollywood must use its economic power to create pathways for all Black talent to rise in the industry, to ensure a fair and inclusive work environment, and to support Black businesses and talent that are typically excluded from the industry.”

This section calls for the adoption of a Inclusion Rider for all productions. They describe an Inclusion Rider as “a clause in an actor’s contract that requires a production they are working on to meet diversity benchmarks in their cast and crew.”

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It also recommends production fund Racial Justice Workplace & Organization Audits. They explain that “the audit can help surface patterns and storytelling practices when it comes to the representation of race (e.g., stereotypes), the representation of society (e.g., the criminal justice system) and other factors that can perpetuate harmful myths or impact viewers in other negative ways.”

It also specifically calls for studios to “increase the number of black people in leadership in your organization.”

Finally, the last section titled “Invest in Black Communities” says, “Hollywood should use its economic power to support Black communities in all the cities in which it operates, and to support local Black businesses.”

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In this section they detail that studios should “contract with Black-owned and Black-led businesses, and encourage your organization and others to maintain a roster of local Black businesses.”

It also instructs Hollywood to “partner with brands that are in alignment with anti-racist social justice values, and invested in supporting Black communities.”

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