Powerhouse lawyer Jaia Thomas concluded that there should have been one focal area to discover diverse talent when it came to staffing up behind-the-scene groups in the entertainment industry.
Up until this point, one was left to assemble staffs piecemeal, which generally, came by the way of recommendations from industry peers.
Thomas created the mechanism, appropriately titled, Diverse Representation, which is a compendious database highlighting African American agents, lawyers, managers, and publicists. She has presently centered the rundown around the Los Angeles area but the aim is to develop and scale it nationwide hitting two other dominate talent centers next. “Over the next several months the database will grow to include other markets such as New York and Atlanta,” stated Thomas.
Diverse Representation was cconceived to broaden the conversation surrounding diversity in the entertainment industry. “Oftentimes, when we speak about diversity in the entertainment industry it is limited to the perspective of those names and faces we see on screen,” said Thomas. “Rarely do we speak about it from the perspective of those doing the legwork behind the screen who represent those talents by negotiating fair deals and fostering relationships for future work.”
There are still gaping racial imbalances when it comes to those hired to represent talent and there are several layers to this. Not only is the dearth of representation coming from the talent hiring a diverse team, but it also comes from the network and studio side. This list will hopefully provide awareness of who is out there.
Some noticeable names discovered on the list include Dana Sims from ICM Partners, Nina Shaw from Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano, and Everett Johnson from Williams Morris Endeavor who have been known to represent some of Hollywood’s most successful African American talent.
To check out the full directory, click here.