Task Force: Diversifying Disney
You have just been hired as an executive at Disney and it will be your job to decide which movies get made. Your goal is to make sure more diverse stories get told so you must figure out how you will find the right scripts and what criteria you will use to decide which scripts to make into movies.
Why Are We Doing This?
In the television and film industry, writers and creators must pitch their idea for a show or movie to executives who get to decide if the idea will get the funding to get made. Disney has long been criticized for not incorporating enough diversity into their shows and movies, as well as not creating accurate portrayals of different groups. For example, Disney has used racial stereotypes in their characters, has avoided explicitly LGBTQ+ characters, and shows very little body diversity.
- Research the different issues related to diversity and representation that Disney has been criticized for in the past. Also, see if you can find any evidence of Disney attempting to change how various communities are represented in their films.
- Now, decide how you will help combat these issues going forward. Think about:
- Why are diversity and representation so important at Disney in particular?
- What criteria will you use to evaluate movie ideas?
- How will you make sure that diverse stories get told?
- What will be your process for hiring writers, directors, etc? Why is representation behind the scenes important?
- If you had to pick any one particular issue to focus on, what would it be? How would you convince others at the company that it’s important?
- Think through the possible objections to your plan and how you would respond.
- Share with the group and see if you can convince them that your plan will help address diversity issues at Disney.
Things to Keep in Mind:
- You do not have to come up with an exhaustive plan. It’s better to come up with a few ideas that you feel confident with and spend time thinking through possible objections to them.
- You don’t have to worry about answering all possible objections, but you should have some defense of why you think your idea would work.
- Your suggestions should be things that could realistically be implemented.