Actor Michael B Jordan has called on Hollywood studios, agencies and industry insiders to “invest in black staff”.
During a protest against systemic racism and police brutality organised by the Big 4 agencies in the wake of George Floyd’s death, the Creed star asked the people in the movie business to commit to hiring more black people.
“You committed to a 50/50 gender parity in 2020. Where is the challenge to commit to black hiring? Black content led by black executives, black consultants. Are you policing our storytelling as well? Let us bring our darkness to the light,” Jordan said while addressing the crowd.
The actor, who played Oscar Grant, an African American man killed by a police officer in the 2013 film Fruitvale Station, said the role made him feel the pain of racial abuse victims.
“I lived with that for a very long time and it weighs on me. Producing that movie made me really realise the lengths that the government and oppressors will go to keep knowledge out of your hands,” he said of the film.
Jordan said when he played attorney Bryan Stevenson in Just Mercy, he understood the importance of being calm and closer to the issue. The actor produced the legal drama, also starring Jamie Foxx.
“I learned his tactics. I learned his mentality. I learned his approach to things. Very calm. Very strategic. Very thoughtful. You have to be proximal. You have to be close to (the) issues,” he added.
Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man died on May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes in an encounter caught on video. The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with murder and manslaughter.
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