EP NowStoreAcademySupportCommunityProducts by Country
Blog Home

The Path to Better Diversity and Inclusion in Hollywood

How production incentives are helping to promote inclusivity
May 25, 2021

Joseph Chianese

In recent years, Black Lives Matter, Me Too campaigns, Anti-Asian racism, voting rights suppression, and more have heightened much-needed social awareness across the country. This has impacted many businesses and industries, which have responded with an increased focus on diversity and inclusion. Hollywood has been no exception. Here’s an overview of how the entertainment industry is pushing itself to change, what role production incentives can play, and what still needs to be done.

How is D&I Changing Hollywood?

Some of the Diversity and Inclusion movement's impact on Hollywood could be seen as recently as the 93rd Academy Awards. The organization’s attempts, following #OscarsSoWhite, to further recognize women and minorities – especially above the line – were evident in this year’s nominees. Two women were nominated for best director (Emerald Fennell and Chloé Zhao, who won) and almost half of the acting nominations were people of color (Youn Yuh-jung went on to win Best Supporting Actress and Daniel Kaluuya won Best Supporting Actor).

Looking to future awards, the Academy is also creating new inclusion standards, requiring eligible films to meet minimum requirements around representation on-screen, behind-the-camera, in hiring opportunities, and in training. The importance of the latter has also been recognized by companies like Netflix, which has committed $100 million over the next five years to fund organizations that help underrepresented communities find work in television and film.

Elsewhere, there has also been a greater push towards transparency among studios by conducting and publicizing diversity studies to indicate efforts to improve D&I. California has also prioritized equity, introducing SB 973, legislation which requires companies to annually report on demographic and pay information. Also helping studios and production companies better connect with underrepresented talent – especially below the line – are initiatives like Ava DuVernay’s Array Crew, a database of crew members of diverse backgrounds.

Inclusion riders, contract clauses requiring certain levels of representation in a project before talent agrees to join, are also gaining prominence. Frances McDormand famously promoted them during her Best Actress speech in 2018 for Three Billboards and production companies like Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society Productions have made them mandatory in all contracts.

There are also financial means gaining momentum to encourage D&I.

How Can Production Incentives Affect Diversity?

By subsidizing film and television costs, state and international production incentives have served to generally promote local economic growth and job creation for decades. Tying the financial encouragement of incentives to D&I has the powerful ability of ensuring those created jobs – especially for behind the camera talent – can go to the underrepresented.

Some states in the US have already recognized the importance of diversity and inclusion, and incorporated D&I into their production incentives. For example:


More state incentives are likely to come as the industry continues to push for them. Hollywood unions, who have partnered with the Department for Professional Employees, are lobbying for state bills that promote diversity hiring and inclusion, as well as encouraging Congress to consider federal tax incentives (possibly 5 to 10%) that will reward diversity employment. The results of those efforts will become clearer as jurisdictions continue working through legislative sessions with diversity hiring directives or uplifts in mind.

The best way to remain informed about the latest updates is to follow EP’s Jurisdiction Updates.

What Still Remains To Be Done?

While many places – stateside and internationally – are choosing to take action, there still remains work to be done. Although D&I initiatives may not yet be directly attached to all domestic and international incentive programs, film commissions do have programs and/or are supporting programs for diversity and inclusion for industry jobs and job training. Hopefully film and television production incentives can be the carrot to legislatively drive D&I for a growing film and television production industry. An industry with more jobs than people to meet its needs.

Hollywood can help initiate further change by not just waiting for production incentives to arrive, but by pushing for them. If studios and production companies begin favoring states with diversity as one of the criteria of eligibility for production incentives, other states will be encouraged to follow suit.

The industry can broadcast that further by filling its current need for production workers (like production accountants) with the wide availability of under-utilized and/or untapped workforce of women and people of color. As production around the world shows no sign of slowing down, the industry can do that with a greater push towards training and empowering the future of a more diverse workforce. The result will be a win-win for everyone: Increased diversity in film & TV production will contribute to greater creativity, a larger and much needed workforce, and social change through being more inclusive.

If you need help with your D&I initiatives, Entertainment Partners has created a Diversity Management solution to give studios and production companies the tools they need to continue working towards change.

Related Content

EP Blog_SQUARE_EP Paymasters

Meet the Paymasters

This National Payroll Week we celebrate the hard-working payroll professionals behind Hollywood's...
Topic: Payroll

Production Incentives Update: July 2023

Lights, Camera, Incentives! Exploring the recent changes to Film Incentive Programs across the world.
Blog_SQUARE_NY Diversity Incentive

New York Takes Steps to Promote Diversity in Film, Television and Commercial Production

New legislation in the empire state aims to require production companies to report diversity hiring data,...

10 Myths About the UK Film and TV Tax Credit – And Why They're Not True

The UK film and TV tax credit is one of the most generous in the world. Learn the truth about common...

Extended Film Incentive Revitalizes Massachusetts Film Industry

Massachusetts legislators signal to producers that the state is committed to the film & television...

'Yellowstone’ Pushes Texas to Up the Ante to Court Film and TV Projects

New Mexico, Louisiana and Oklahoma in 2022 saw more than $1.5 billion from film and TV productions. Texas...
Camerawoman on beach location

Production Incentives Update: March 2023

A look at changing film incentive programs across New Mexico, Utah, and Austria.

The UK Government Announces Changes to Film and TV Tax Relief

A new audio-visual expenditure credit was introduced with a rate of 34% for film, high-end television...
INDUSTRY NEWS_EP at Sundance Film Festival 2023

Entertainment Partners Hosted Incentives Panel at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival

EP's Joe Chianese led an expert panel of film commissioners from across the globe discussing incentives,...

Minnesota Becomes Land of 10,000 Opportunities with New Incentive Launch

Minnesota introduces a new tax incentive program to renew the state’s status as a dynamic location for...
Georgia Incentives Panel_sq

GA Incentives Insider: Your Questions Answered

Brian Shanaghan, Audits Manager at the Georgia Department of Revenue (GA DOR), addresses the industry's...
Film crew on location filming outdoors

Production Incentives Update: September 2023

Insights on recent changes to production incentive programs in D.C., Kentucky, Montana, Ohio and Ontario.
Expert Advice_Sam Collett

Spotlight: Sam Collett, UK Production Accounting and Incentives Expert

Meet the Senior Partner at FLB Accountants, an Entertainment Partners company specializing in UK media and...
Master Series_UK Incentives Panel_Square

What's Changing in UK Production Incentives

Learn about the recent changes to the UK Creative Sector Tax Credits and how they might impact your next...
EP Blog_SQUARE_UK cultural test

Understanding the UK Cultural Test

Find out whether your film or TV show will pass the UK’s Cultural Test, a key step in qualifying for the...
Master Series Australia Offset Square Thumbnail

Discover All About Australia's Location Offset

Australia's Location Offset rebate skyrocketed from 16.5% to 30%! Learn about the requirements and how...
Jane Corden, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand

Spotlight: Jane Corden, Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand Operations

Meet the Australian production accounting and tax incentives expert who is helping EP invest in the future...

Production Incentives Update: August 2023

Recent changes to production incentive programs across the US and Thailand.

HMRC Answers Key Questions on New UK Audio-Visual Expenditure Credit

UK Creative Sector Department weighs in on the interpretation of some of the new legislation and guidance...
Master Series US Incentives 2023 Square Thumbnail

US Film Incentives Changing in 2023

Learn about incentive changes in NY, NM, LA and more, and how Entertainment Partners can help your...

Meet the Director

A conversation with Brian Dannelly ('Saved,' 'Pushing Daisies,' 'Queer as Folk')

What Expenditure Qualifies for UK Film Tax Relief?

Find out what constitutes qualifying expenditure under the UK Film Tax Relief.
MS_The Future of Background Casting_Square

The Future of Casting Technology

Learn how the EP Casting Portal can help you streamline casting operations and simplify working with...
Advance your career with EP Academy_sq

Advance Your Production Career with the EP Academy

From production accounting basics to technology certifications, EP’s online courses offer one-of-a-kind...
Master Series_Square_Tax Considerations Abroad

Tax Considerations for US Productions Working Abroad

Paying US crew filming outside of the US is complex. Our experts will show you how to navigate the...

Meet the Stunt Coordinator

A Conversation with Jason Rodriguez ('Yellowstone,' 'The Last Castle,' 'Iron Man')

The Production Accountant’s Guide to Foreign Taxation

Answers to common questions about tax treaties, tax codes and how paying foreign taxes can impact US...
Master Series Thumbnail Square_UK Tax Relief

What Productions Need to Know about the UK Tax Relief

Learn about the recently announced reforms to the UK Tax Relief, including the credit increases and new...
EP Blog_SQUARE_Rigging Gaffer Adam Harrison

Meet the Rigging Gaffer

A Conversation with Adam Harrison (‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,’ ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ ‘Spider-Man: No...
Master Series-development budgets-square

Film Financing Explained: Development Budgets

Learn how to plan for the expenses leading up to the pre-production phase of your project.
EP Newsroom-Thumbnail-PGGB

The Production Guild of Great Britain Announces New Scotland Committee

Producer Brian Donovan ('His Dark Materials', 'The Rook') chairs the fifth of PGGB’s National & Regional...

The Future of Streaming and Production Growth in Africa

Streaming services lead a promising wave of African productions set to entertain local and global...

2023 California Pay Data Reporting Law Updates and Resources

California recently made significant revisions to the State's pay wage reporting requirements. Get to know...
Topic: Legal
INDUSTRY NEWS_SQUARE_uk flag_big ben

Update on UK Film and TV Tax Relief Consultation

A look at how the UK government aims to modernise existing tax reliefs to better serve film industry...
Topic: UK

UK Employment Law Changes Production Companies Should Be Aware Of

The UK government is considering a suite of legal changes which – if passed into law – will affect your...
Topic: UK

Illinois’ Film Scene Grows to New Heights with Expanded Tax Incentives

For over 100 years Illinois has supported the film industry and thanks to recently passed legislation, the...

Payroll & Finances

PayrollResidualsSmartStartNew SmartTimeProduction PortalEP On LocationSmartAccountingEP LiveSmartPOCASHétPayPaymaster Rate GuideEP Residency

Manage Multiple Productions

Subscribe now

Be an industry insider with EP's
newsletters and alerts

LegalPrivacy NoticeSecurity
© 2023 Entertainment Partners. All rights reserved.