Jim Gianopulos is leading the charge on a new diversity initiative at Paramount Studios, where he is currently the CEO.
There has been a huge movement in Hollywood to expand opportunities to historically underrepresented groups, including women and minorities. Gianopulos is definitely on board with this new wave in Hollywood, especially as it allows a larger variety of stories to be told.
Giannopoulos released a new memo recently, which states “as part of the development and green light process, our productions will be required to complete a plan designed to enhance access and opportunities for groups historically underrepresented in the media industry. Special attention will be paid to our storylines, our talent in front of and behind the camera, our vendors and our shooting locations.”
Hollywood has often been slow to change, with ingrained, and often incorrect, philosophies about what kind of movies bring profits.
For a long time, it was thought that female-led movies wouldn’t see great results at the box office. However, after the smash success of female superhero films like “Wonder Woman” and the incredibly profitable weekend opening of “Captain Marvel”, some people at CAA (Creative Artists Agency) decided to actually look at the data.
It turns out that female-led films, on average, make more than male-led films.
The financial and/or critical success of minority-led films such as “Black Panther”, “Moonlight”, “Hidden Figures”, as well as Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” has also upended antiquated film industry theories that such movies wouldn’t bring in white audiences.
In this sense, Gianopoulos’ stance on inclusion in the Paramount film slate is both progressive and financially sound.
To ensure that Paramount’s new films are truly inclusive, Gianopulos will create a new entity called the “Content Creation Council” at Paramount.
According to the CEO, “the production team will report their results to a newly established Content Creation Council, which will compile and analyze all data to develop metrics, establish benchmarks, and ensure ongoing accountability. As an organization, we hope this is a big step toward progress by showing that we are committed to doing better each and every day.”
Gianopulos seems to be making all the right moves at Paramount. We are excited to see the projects that these changes will create.