17 FEB 2021

STARZ LAUNCHES “TAKE THE LEAD” INCLUSION INITIATIVE

The comprehensive effort advocates for programming by, about and for women and other underrepresented groups. The network will also host a series of monthly “Transparency Talks” with crucial leaders and members of important organizations.

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Today, Starz President and CEO Jeffrey Hirsch unveiled the launch of the Starz #TakeTheLead initiative. The partnership with The Center for Scholars & Storytellers, UCLA was made to ensure the diverse representation on-screen, off-screen, and throughout the company. “At Starz, #TakeTheLead is our continued commitment to narratives by, about, and for women and underrepresented audiences," Hirsch said. "The multi-faceted approach to improving representation serves as our guiding principle across our business from programming choices to hiring decisions."

In addition to the establishment, Starz will also host a series of monthly “Transparency Talks” with crucial leaders and members of important organizations, including the ACLU of Southern California, Producers Guild of America, California Film Commission, and more. The “Transparency Talks” will culminate with the first-ever Starz Summit, a day that will showcase the company’s creative diversity and commitment to the next generation of diverse voices.

The report showcase the company's efforts to strenghten women's role in front of and behind the camera with hit series including the "Power” Universe, “P-Valley,” “Outlander,” and upcoming series including “Run the World,” “Blindspotting,” “Black Mafia Family,” “Shining Vale,” “Serpent Queen” and more. In addition to the findings below, 75% of Starz’s executive leadership team are women, inclusive of direct reports to the President and CEO, and 50% are people of color, all of whom are women. 

The UCLA study, which measured STARZ scripted Original Series that aired or will air between January 2020 through December 2021 as well as series that are in production as of February 2021. Over half, at 60.4% of series regular roles on STARZ Original Series are portrayed by people of color and 27.8% are portrayed by women of color, while 47.1% of executive producers are people of color and 41.2% are women. 29.1% of writers are women of color. 49.3% of directors are people of color and 43.7% are women.

To further raise awareness, the network will also begin its series of “Transparency Talks” in April to display relevant discussion between leaders from industry powerhouses including Melissa Goodman, Director of Advocacy at the ACLU of Southern California; Dan Halperin and Lisa Kors, former Co-Chairs of the PGA’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee; Colleen Bell, Executive Director of the California Film Commission and former United States Ambassador to Hungary, among other editors, storytellers, scholars, publishers, and feminist press members.

 

At Starz, #TakeTheLead is our continued commitment to narratives by, about, and for women and underrepresented audiences. The multi-faceted approach to improving representation serves as our guiding principle across our business from programming choices to hiring decisions.” Jeffrey Hirsch President and CEO, Starz

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