partner news 11/12/20

Posted by on November 12, 2020

Check out our Partner News for the week of 11/12!

Warner Bros. Apologizes After ‘The Witches’ Sparks Backlash From People With Disabilities

Warner Bros. has apologized after being criticised by people with disabilities over the depiction of Anne Hathaway’s villainous character in the new adaptation of “The Witches”. The character appears to have a condition called Ectrodactyly, a limb abnormality commonly referred to as ‘split fingers’ and advocates fear that the portrayal of villains with physical defects can perpetuate stereotypes that disabilities are scary.

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Lionsgate Cuts 15% of Global Motion Picture Group

Lionsgate has made the tough decision to cut 15% of its Global Motion Picture Group. The cuts were announced Thursday following those that hit marketing and distribution last March, right after cinemas closed around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has accelerated the studios’ plans to reimagine the Motion Picture Group to meet the challenge of viewers’ changing viewing habits.

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Former NBC Exec Joins Westbrook Studios 

Courtesy of Deadline

Sahara Bushue, former NBC alternative exec, has officially joined the Westbrook Studios, a production company owned by Jada Smith and Will Smith. Sahara Bushue has been assigned  SVP of Alternative Development & Current Programming at Westbrook. She will be creating new ideas for series and projects. Read More: here 

CBS Commits to Expanding Unscripted BIPOC Representation

Courtesy of NBC

CBS networks is committing to improving inclusion goals and it is targeting 50% of its unscripted casts to being comprised of Black, Indigenous and People of Color beginning in the 2021-22 broadcast season. ViacomCBS-owned broadcaster has also pledged to allocate a quarter of its unscripted development budget to projects from BIPOC producers for next season. Read more here

WME Tap TikTok Exec Gisselle Ruiz as Head of Inclusion

Image courtesy of Hollywood Reporter

WME has named former TikTok executive Gisselle Ruiz as head of inclusion. Ruiz has been busy signing up TikTok stars as they find their social media fame. Most recently she had helped spearhead diversity and inclusion initiatives standards at TikTok. At WME, Ruiz will oversee retention, recruitment and strategic partnership to dive the agency’s diversity, equity and inclusion goals. Read more here.

Nicole Brown Promoted to President of Sony’s TriStar Pictures

Sony Pictures Entertainment has promoted Nicole Brown to president of TriStar Pictures. She will oversee all of TriStar’s film development and production and is currently the only Black woman running a live-action label at a major studio. Brown is on the board of Women in Film, is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and is a mentor for ReFrame Rise. Read more here.

CBS Sets Diversity Targets For Reality Casts; 50% Of Talent Must Be BIPOC & Commits 25% Of Unscripted Development Budget To BIPOC Creatives

CBS has introduced an edict that 50% of its casts for unscripted shows must be Black, Indigenous, or People of Color and at least 25% of its annual unscripted budget must go towards BIPOC creators and producers. “The reality TV genre is an area that’s especially underrepresented, and needs to be more inclusive across development, casting, production and all phases of storytelling,” said George Cheeks, President and Chief Executive Officer for the CBS Entertainment Group. Read more here.