Shonda Rhimes Collaborates With Netflix to Launch Two New Initiatives to Bring in Underrepresented Talent Behind the Scenes

Shonda Rhimes Collaborates With Netflix to Launch Two New Initiatives to Bring in Underrepresented Talent Behind the Scenes

Shonda Rhimes Collaborates With Netflix to Launch Two New Initiatives to Bring in Underrepresented Talent Behind the Scenes

The creator of classic television dramas, Scandal, and Grey’s Anatomy has teamed up with streaming giant Netflix to help diversify creative personnel within the film and television industry.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Shonda Rhimes, who signed with Netflix with a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access last summer, is finally going to make those initiatives happen. Her company, Shondaland and Netflix are introducing The Producers Inclusion Initiative and The Ladder. Both will be paid programs to exclusively find below-the-line talent.

“At our core, Shondaland is a company dedicated to championing opportunities for underrepresented communities both on and off the screen. We have made incredible strides with ensuring women are represented in our productions and I’m excited to expand our efforts and see real results with all marginalized groups,” stated Sara Fischer, Shondaland’s head of production, in a written statement. “Our partnership with Netflix has allowed us to create these two new incredible programs that have already led to palpable changes in our industry. I am extremely proud to be a part of history as we look forward to greater representation on set.”

Both initiatives, The Producers Inclusion Initiative and The Ladder are backed in part by Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity. The fund, which was set up in 2021, was created to ensure more behind-the-camera possibilities will be available for underrepresented communities across the film and TV industries.

The Producers Inclusion Initiative is a nine-week virtual program to train independent producers, unit production managers, supervisors and first assistant directors, who come from underrepresented communities. There will be monthly stipends for those who participate in the program, as the graduates will connect with people at the two companies, Netflix and Shondaland and beyond about potential opportunities or other career developments.

The Ladder has been set up to provide prospects for people from marginalized groups who are trying to obtain the kind of on-set experience and training that can be vital to success in the film and TV business. This initiative is slated to kick off in the U.K. with Shondaland’s current productions. The trainees will be getting on-the-job training with roles in departments such as production, locations, assistant directors, costume, sound and stunts on Shondaland shows. Participants in the program will also be paid during their time in the program. Graduates will be eligible for job consideration on Shondaland and other Netflix productions.

Shonda Rhimes Collaborates With Netflix to Launch Two New Initiatives to Bring in Underrepresented Talent Behind the Scenes

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