In a new video interview J.J. Abrams declared that his film production company Bad Robot will make hiring based on looks a top priority.
Speaking with Time Magazine about the film industry Abrams discussed what he wants the industry to look like in the future.
I can’t even begin to fathom how hard it would be to be Black in this business.” @jjabrams discusses the need for diversity in the film industry #TIME100Talks pic.twitter.com/KsEGO9yRRM
— TIME (@TIME) August 13, 2020
He began his short, and what appears to be scripted speech saying, “It is an undeniable moment we are in where I think in so many different aspects of life, but certainly in the entertainment business, I think people are realizing that is is absolutely good for business. It is right in terms the interest of the art that is being created to not have the creation of stories, or music, films be an elitist thing.”
Abrams continued, “And I know, as you know a white male who understands how hard it is to tell stories and make it in the business, I can’t even begin to fathom how hard it would be to black in this business, to be black and female in this business. To work with the obstacles that people face. It’s incredible.”
He then made it clear that Bad Robot will be focused on people’s outward appearance when it comes to hiring. He explained, “And so, you know, Katie and I at Bad Robot, you know, while we do all sorts of different things and have tried all different things. And we know that we have and we continue to make mistakes and figure it out, but it is absolutely a value and a priority for us to make sure that the projects we’re working on, the artists we’re working with look like the way the world looks.”
He then encouraged others to do the same saying, “And I know that there’s a natural tendency to look to people who sort look like you and feel like you, the sort of usual suspects in every aspect of what people do in business. And I think that the key is to look around the room and ask yourself, ‘Do you the people with whom I’m creating look like me?'”
He concluded, “And if the answer is yes, you probably haven’t done enough to find the people. Is it harder? Sometimes, for sure. But you have to do that work to bring people to the table. And who will let you be at the table so that you can create a community that looks more the way the world looks than not.”
Abrams is not the only Hollywood director to make comments similar to this.
Related: DC Films’ New Gods Director Ava DuVernay Threatens To Discriminate Against White Men When Hiring For Films
WarnerMedia’s New Gods director Ava DuVernay threatened to discriminate against white men when hiring for films back in June.
DuVerany wrote on Twitter, “Everyone has a right to their opinion. And we – Black producers with hiring power – have the right to not hire those who diminish us. So, to the white men in this thread… if you don’t get that job you were up for, kindly remember… bias can go both ways. This is 2020 speaking.”
Abrams comments come after Bad Robot has made a number of racist statements over the past couple of months.
Related: J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Issues Statement Following A Weekend Of Riots and Looting: “Enough White Comfort”
First, Abrams’ Bad Robot targeted white people in an Instagram post.
The first slide of the post read, “Enough is enough. Enough police brutality. Enough outsized privilege. Enough white comfort. Enough lopsided access. Enough exhausting our friends and colleagues. Enough being incurious. Enough being unintentional. Enough injustice. Enough death. ENOUGH.”
Related: J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Shares Employee Guide For “Dismantling White Supremacy At Work”
Then a couple of weeks later towards of the end of June Abrams’ Bad Robot shared an employee guide titled, “Bad Robot’s Guide to Dismantling White Supremacy at Work.”
In the pages of this guide, it calls for managers to redistribute work from black colleagues to non-black employees.
It also instructs managers to give time off to black employees without them asking for it.
They then specifically target white women and Asian Americans saying, “Racism in America is older than ‘America’ itself, and a daylong seminar won’t stop the weaponization of white womanhood, the complicity of Asian Americans in anti-Blackness, or the disregard of Black humanity.”
The guide also instructs managers to commit part of their day and their employees days to a number of controversial groups including Black Lives Matter, whose founder describes them as “trained Marxists,” as well as Movement for Black Lives that has called for the defunding of police.
They provided a list of organizations that their employees should support.
Black Lives Matter also advocates for not only the defunind of the police, but the dismantling of the police.
They also advocate for the disruption of “the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.”
The group is also hostile towards what they describe as cis people. One of their stated goals is “to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.”
What do you make of Abrams’ latest comments?