Actor Michael B. Jordan is investing in the futures of young boys of color who want to pursue careers in the entertainment industry. According to the Huffington Post, Jordan is teaming up with the My Brother’s Keeper initiative and the Obama Foundation for the creation of a fellowship for aspiring actors.
The fellowship will be created under his production company Outlier Society Productions, the news outlet writes. Jordan says he wants to use the program as an avenue to increase representation in the entertainment industry by opening career pathways.
“When you get in a position of power or you get a little bit of leverage to help create opportunities for other people. I think that’s really, really important. It’s something I always promised myself that once I got a production company, I would be able to do that,” said Jordan in a statement. “We’re starting an Outlier fellowship, an internship. Basically, we’re going to select certain young black men, people of color, people from underrepresented groups across the board, and place them in major companies throughout the entertainment industry.”
Fellowships like the one created by Jordan are needed. According to the 2019 Hollywood Diversity Report, although there has been some progress made regarding diversity in the entertainment industry, we still have a long way to go. People of color make up only 12.6 percent of writers and 7.8 percent of directors. “Over time, as it became clear that audiences were becoming more diverse and that they were demanding diverse content, diversity itself was seen as a business imperative,” Darnell Hunt, who co-authored the report and serves as a professor at UCLA, told NPR. “That’s a relatively new phenomenon that … most people would not have been talking about that, you know, five, 10 years ago. Today, everyone’s talking about it.”