Hire Her Back’ Campaign Aims To Promote Gender, Racial Equality As Hollywood Reopens Amid Coronavirus
A new “Hire Her Back” campaign is pushing for film and TV jobs to go to women and people of color as Hollywood productions resume amid the pandemic.
The multimedia initiative and its related “Hire Her Back Fund” were announced Wednesday by the nonprofit group Women In Film Los Angeles (WIF).
The grant program, administered by The Actors Fund, will provide money to women in the industry “whose livelihoods have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” WIF said in a statement.
Women & BIPOC are disproportionately impacted in times of crisis. So we’re launching the Hire Her Back initiative urging employers in the screen industries to strive for equity and representation as the industry starts production again.
“With the convergence of a pandemic and the national uprising in defense of Black lives, it must be made clear that current market structures have to be transformed if we are serious about creating equity,” WIF Executive Director Kirsten Schaffer said in a statement.
“We call on leaders to join us in building a new normal that prioritizes equity and career sustainability for women, especially women of color, in the screen industries,” Schaffer said.
According to the labor department, women’s unemployment was at 13.9% in May while men’s unemployment was at 11.6%.
The motion picture industry alone lost hundreds of thousands of jobs during the shutdown, and WIF voiced concern that women in Hollywood may find it harder to return than men.
“Following the economic crisis in 2008, women regained employment across all sectors at a much lower rate than men, and took longer to rebound,” the group said, citing a report from Pew Research Center.
Amy Baer, WIF’s board president, said she doesn’t want to see the hard-fought gains won by women in front of and behind the camera in recent years erased by the industry lockdown.
“We cannot lose this important momentum because of entertainment job losses related to the COVID-19 crisis,” Baer said, thanking producer Shivani Rawat, founder of ShivHans Pictures, for seed money provided to the new Hire Her Back Fund. Content Source