Vancouver-born movie star Ryan Reynolds says it is time to see more Black, Indigenous and people of colour on film sets and has launched a new initiative to help make it happen.
Called the Group Effort Initiative, applications opened online Thursday for people from marginalized communities to apply for a spot on the crew of an upcoming Netflix production. On the program’s website, Reynolds says he plans to dedicate a portion of his own salary to pay for 10 to 20 new diverse hires.
“Making a film is a group effort, but for entirely too long that group has systemically excluded Black, Indigenous, people of colour and several other marginalized communities. This is a global problem which will not be fixed overnight, but change can start locally and immediately,” wrote Reynolds.
The website crashed as people rushed to apply Thursday morning, but appears to now be working as it should.
All successful applicants will have their travel, accommodation and pay covered by Reynolds himself.
Those who apply must be 18 years or older, eligible to work in Canada, and available in November through to March 2021.
BIPOC recruits will receive on-set training that can be parlayed into a job in the film industry, something the Deadpool star describes in a posted video message as “long overdue action.”
Reynolds’ program follows other recently announced diversity initiatives in the industry.
Earlier this month, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences laid out sweeping eligibility reforms to the best picture category intended to encourage diversity and equitable representation on screen and off, addressing gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity and disability.
North of Hollywood, Telefilm Canada announced this summer a $100,000 a year commitment toward the creation of a Black Screen Office dedicated to expanding the reach of Black stories onscreen.