Posted on July 14, 2023

California Black Caucus Calls on Studios to Explain Sudden Departures of Multiple Black Female Executives in Hollywood

Clayton Davis, Variety, July 13, 2023

A group of state legislators representing the California Legislative Black Caucus are calling on film studios to meet with them regarding the sudden removal of Black female executives over the past few weeks.

A mass exodus of Black women from senior leadership posts — Vernā Myers (Netflix), LaTondra Newton (Disney), Jeanell English (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) and Karen Horne and Terra Potts (Warner Bros. Discovery) — has raised questions about the depth of the film and television industry’s commitment to diversifying the top ranks of the entertainment industry.

The CLBC held a press conference on Thursday, citing the executives’ resignations and removals after the State Legislature approved the $1.6 billion Film Tax Credit initiative {snip}

“One executive removal could be a fluke,” said Senator Lola Smallwood-Cuevas during the press conference. “But four more? And we’re hearing more are to come. This is a troubling pattern. A pattern that suggests diversity, equity and inclusion is no longer a priority at the highest levels of the film industry {snip}”