How is Hollywood responding to George Floyd protests?

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People attend a protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, at a Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 3, 2020. Photo credit: Lucy Nicholson.

As Black Lives Matter protests and marches have continued throughout the week, Hollywood has given mixed reactions. Some studios put out bland corporate statements, while others have donated money to social justice causes. 

Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch sent a company-wide memo supporting peaceful protests. He said his company’s culture “embraces and fosters diversity and inclusion.” This comes as a surprise to many media analysts. They say Fox News programs and hosts Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity have sowed seeds of division with years of racially-inflamed rhetoric. 

CNN host Don Lemon challenged wealthy members of Hollywood to do more than watch TV. He pushed them  to come out and help young protestors. Actor Jamie Foxx sent a similar message from a Black Lives Matter rally in San Francisco.  

Some in the industry have shown up to protests, including actors Keke Palmer in Los Angeles and John Boyega in London, who both made powerful speeches. Boyega questioned the viability of his career after speaking out. Directors including Jordan Peele, Rian Johnson, and Phil Lord spoke up on Twitter, saying they would work with Boyega and others who have been active in protests. 

But the people who often make those hiring decisions sit in high-ranking corporate jobs at studios, a place where there’s been little recent improvement in diversity among executive ranks.



Kaitlin Parker