Netflix is setting up a $100 million fund that will be spent over the next five years helping members of underrepresented communities in entertainment find opportunities and receive mentoring.
In a blog from co-CEO Ted Sarandos on Friday, Netflix explained that the $100 million will go to a combination of external organizations with a track record of setting underrepresented communities up for success in the TV and film industries. And Netflix will also create bespoke programs within Netflix to identify, train and provide job placement for up-and-coming talent.
Some of the organizations Netflix has previously supported and will continue to contribute to include the Ghetto Film School, Film Independent’s Project Involve, Firelight Media and Black Public Media to help foster Black creators, as well as the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival’s Latinx Inclusion Fellowship Series, which mentors Afro Latinx directors.
The bespoke programs will include workshops for writers and directors and incubators.
The news comes as the streamer unveiled a report it made in partnership with USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative’s Dr. Stacy Smith. Smith for the first time did a report of Netflix’s full portfolio of original movies and shows released between 2018 and 2019. As TheWrap outlined on Friday, it found that Netflix reached gender parity with its lead characters and outpaced the total set by the top-grossing films of the year in the same time span. Netflix also outpaced Hollywood when it came to underrepresented groups, particularly Black characters and creators, but Smith found that Netflix had work to do yet in the Latinx and Asian communities, and Native American or Middle Eastern characters were largely invisible in both films and series, even lagging behind the industry in some areas.
However, Netflix performed quite well, with Dr. Smith saying that Netflix demonstrated clear growth in 19 of 22 indicators year over year and praised the company’s transparency compared to other studios in Hollywood. Netflix plans to continue the study every two years.
Learn more about the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity in the video above.