Posted on March 15, 2021

Netflix Will Spend $100 Million to Improve Diversity on Film

Julia Boorstin, CNBC, February 26, 2021

Netflix released a first-of-its-kind diversity study Friday to analyze the makeup of Netflix’s on-screen talent, as well as the behind-the-camera creators, producers, writers and directors.

The report shows that the company has made progress, but still has more work to do to close diversity gaps. The company says it’s committing to an “inclusion lens” to its work, which co-CEO Ted Sarandos says means asking questions like, “Whose voice is missing? Is this portrayal authentic? Who is excluded?”

The company also announced the creation of the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity, which will invest $100 million over the next five years in organizations that help underrepresented communities train and find jobs in TV and film. Netflix also committed to releasing an update on this study every two years through 2026.


The study was conducted, at Netflix’s request, by Stacy Smith, who has a PhD in communications and human development and is the founder and director of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. {snip}

{snip} Smith also found that Netflix is outpacing the industry in hiring women and people of color as directors. Netflix was also found to exceed proportional representation of Black leads and main cast.

But the report also found that other racial and ethnic groups were underrepresented relative to the U.S. population. LatinX characters were just 4% of leads, despite being 12% of the population, and just 3% of creators and producers were LatinX.


In January, the company released its first Inclusion Report about Netflix’s employee ranks. And in June, Netflix made a $100 million commitment to support Black communities by putting 2% of its cash holdings into Black financial institutions serving low- and moderate-income communities.