Lucasfilm clearly needs a lesson on reading the room because while people all over the world were celebrating International Women’s Day, they announced that another white man would be helming a Star Wars project. Seriously, of all the days of the year. Frances McDormand did not make an impassioned speech about the need for diversity in film and get her Oscar temporarily stolen so Lucasfilm could do this to us.
This morning, Lucasfilm announced that The Lion King director Jon Favreau would be executive producing and writing a live-action Star Wars series for Disney’s upcoming streaming platform. This comes on the heels of announcements that Rian Johnson would be creating a standalone trilogy, and David Benioff and D.B. Weiss would be helming a set of films.
In a statement celebrating the Iron Man director’s hiring, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy attempted to *kind of* address the massive elephant in the room: Lucasfilm’s inability to hire a creative who is not a white man. “I couldn’t be more excited about Jon coming on board to produce and write for the new direct-to-consumer platform. Jon brings the perfect mix of producing and writing talent, combined with a fluency in the Star Wars universe. This series will allow Jon the chance to work with a diverse group of writers and directors and give Lucasfilm the opportunity to build a robust talent base.”
As a filmmaker, Favreau has a much better track record than many of his fellow Star Wars creators — he directed the now-classic Elf and has played a pivotal role in front of and behind the camera in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and he genuinely seems like he could be a solid fit. But the timing of this announcement was about as bad as Luke’s terribly thought-out plan to rescue Han Solo in Return of the Jedi.
Naturally, Twitter couldn’t believe Lucasfilm chose International Women’s Day to make the announcement:
But while Lucasfilm made some serious miscalculations in announcing Favreau’s hiring on International Women’s Day, the filmmaker can do something to bring something positive to the table.
For the love of Carrie Fisher and all things good in the galaxy far, far away, Jon Favreau, please listen to Frances and include an Inclusion Rider in your contract.