When it comes to discovering the best creative and technical talent, we’re always looking at how we can support and develop visionary individuals of all backgrounds. We partner with diverse film festivals, independent filmmakers, and colleges to get an early look at future stars, and to help cultivate the very best teams where talent can thrive.
We also tap into NBCUniversal’s unique Talent Infusion Programs (TIPS), which offer fellowships, showcases, and workshops specifically designed to feature and foster the next generation of television writers, directors, actors, and comedians. Previous program participants include Mindy Kaling, creator and Executive Producer of NBC’s newest comedy, Champions; Jaffar Mahmood, who has directed episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Young Sheldon; and Marisa Tam, a Staff Writer on NBC’s The Blacklist.
At NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment and Universal Cable Productions, we launched a dedicated team in 2017 focused on driving diversity strategies across the business, with a focus on growing the creative talent pool and bringing new creative voices to the portfolio.
On the film side, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group offers the Universal Writers Program, the Universal Directors Intensive, and the Universal Film Music Composer Initiative that was piloted in 2017. Alumni from these programs include Steven Caple Jr., who is directing MGM’s Creed 2; Veep Actor and Director Clea Duvall, who will be directing Tristar’s Happiest Season; and Nora Kroll, who scored the short film Bird Karma. We’re also excited that DreamWorks Animation will be selecting composers from the Universal Film Music Composer Initiative to score two of the studio’s short films.
Integrity through Diversity at NBC News Group
We believe in the core principles of journalism: fairness, accuracy, and being thorough. That’s why, for decades, the NBC peacock and chime has represented credibility for so many of our viewers.
It is not enough to report information — our viewers want to know what happened, and also why it happened. As the world becomes more connected, the “why” becomes more complex, and we need to have diverse perspectives at the table to report the news both accurately, and thoroughly.
Our diverse teams, in front of and behind the camera, share one undeniable trait: they want to know the “why” just as much as our viewers do. This is especially true of the incredible female talent we have at NBC News, MSNBC, and CNBC. On-air journalists, like Rachel Maddow and Katy Tur, don’t hide their curiosity — they wear it as a badge of integrity. Behind the camera, producers like Elizabeth Leist — newly promoted to Executive Producer of the TODAY show — champion bold stories that highlight diverse people across the country and the world. As a result, we are helping people navigate the increasingly complex news landscape.
In January 2018, we were thrilled to announce Hoda Kotb as co-anchor of TODAY, alongside Savannah Guthrie. The two are the first pair of women to anchor TODAY.
Blockbuster Films from Black Artists
Universal Pictures’ and Focus Features’ blockbuster year proved what audiences want — diversity at the box office. The studios’ 2017 slates were packed with critically acclaimed, blockbuster hits by diverse directors, writers, and actors. Two of these films made headlines and history, inspiring the next generation of diverse filmmakers.
With a 99% aggregate rating on Rotten Tomatoes and astonishing word-of-mouth appeal, Get Out resonated with massive audiences — grossing more than $250 million at the global box office. This genre-bending, social thriller, from the mind of Jordan Peele, tapped into the cultural zeitgeist in a subversive way and became an awards contender. With Get Out, Peele became the first African American to win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
Up next, he is working on his second feature with Universal Pictures, Us, and produced Focus Features’ upcoming film, BlacKkKlansman, directed by Spike Lee.
Continuing with its legacy for delivering female-driven breakout comedy successes, Universal’s Girls Trip brought big laughs to audiences, grossing $31.2 million at the North American box office on its opening weekend, making it the highest-grossing opening for a live-action comedy in 2017. Directed by Malcolm D. Lee and produced by Will Packer, the film grossed $140 million at the worldwide box office.
NBCUniversal Diversity across Our Properties
We stand for ensuring that our talent, both on air and behind the camera, reflects the diversity of the communities we serve.