Warner Bros. Appoints Ryan Coogler First-Ever ‘Creative Talent Ambassador’
The whole of Hollywood has been shaken awake by the recent so-called “whiteout” in this year’s slate of Oscar nominees, and has now turned to self-scrutiny about the homogeneity ingrained in the industry. Variety’s striking white-on-white cover design for their Oscar issue proclaimed “SHAME ON US,” a bold declaration that the time to acknowledge some ugly iniquities had finally come. With the demand for change at the institutional level too loud to be ignored, studios have begun to implement measures to right the racial imbalances in showbiz. A new development this week from the Warner Bros. camp tells the heartening tale of changing times.
Deadline reports that Ryan Coogler, director of the fine films Fruitvale Station and last year’s breakout smash Creed, has been appointed Warner Bros.’ “Creative Talent Ambassador” — a new position created just for him. In this capacity, Coogler will assist in the selection of candidates for a program that “supports the next generation of UK talent, with scholarships that provide work placements, mentoring, apprenticeships and training courses.” Coogler himself came up through a similar program, and his success is a shining example of the potential that projects like this have to do good. Early on, Coogler was accepted as a Time Warner Foundation Fellow in a program with the Sundance Institute, which helped him accrue the resources and experience necessary to complete Fruitvale Station. A quote from Coogler himself make the diversity component of the program clear:
“Having experienced firsthand the support and impact of programs similar to Warner Bros Creative Talent, it is fantastic to know that passionate young people of all backgrounds are being given the chance to follow their dreams here in the UK. This can be a tough industry and so we need to do what we can to bring talented young people into it.”
So, first everything gets set and settled across the pond, and then once they’re all good, let’s enliven American cinema with a variety of voices! Solid plan. Break!