Michael B. Jordan called for Hollywood to commit to “Black hiring” in a powerful protest speech
At a Black Lives Matter protest in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 6th, actor Michael B. Jordan asked Hollywood executives to commit to Black hiring. “You committed to a 50/50 gender parity in 2020. Where is the challenge to commit to Black hiring?” Jordan asked in a speech at the protest. “Black content led by Black executives, Black consultants. Are you policing our storytelling as well? Let us bring our darkness to the light.”
The protest itself was one organized by the Big 4 Hollywood agencies—CAA, UTA, WME, and ICM Partners—and protesters gathered outside the ICM building in Century City.
“I want us to invest in Black staff,” Jordan continued, calling out his use of an inclusion rider.
An inclusion rider is a stipulation in a contract that obligates a studio to hire a diverse cast and crew or the person can decline a project. The actor helped Just Mercy become WarnerMedia’s first movie with this policy, which committed to hiring Black talent in front of and behind the camera.
“I use my power to demand diversity,” Jordan added, “but it’s time the studios and agencies and all these buildings we stand in front of to do the same.”
Jordan starred in 2013’s Fruitvale Station, which is about Oscar Grant’s death at the hands of a police attack. Just Mercy is based on the true story of civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson as he navigates one of his first cases—freeing a wrongly-convicted Black man on death row.
Jordan continued in his protest speech, “Black culture: the sneakers, sports, comedic culture that you guys love so much. We’ve dealt with discrimination at every turn. Can you help fund Black brands, companies, cultural leaders, Black organizations?”
In a recent Instagram post, Jordan wrote, “We must strategize, organize, and train ourselves as we demand more…This is just the beginning.” Jordan has committed to Black hiring in his industry, using inclusion riders as a key tool, and now all eyes are on Hollywood to learn and do the same.