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'Star Wars' Director J.J. Abrams Says #OscarsSoWhite Was a 'Wake-up Call'

Abrams is the newest Hollywood powerhouse to tackle entertainment's diversity issue.

'Star Wars' Director J.J. Abrams Says Oscars Controversy Was a 'Wake-up Call'

If you somehow missed the cultural upheaval that was #OscarsSoWhite, no cause for concern: Hollywood's biggest names sure didn't.

As a matter of fact, since Sunday's ceremony, an increasing number of high-ranking entertainment moguls have spoken in favor of changing their industry's landscape. One such mogul is J.J. Abrams, best known for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Trek, and and the Mission: Impossible films.


In a recent interview, the director/producer/writer told The Hollywood Reporter that "the Oscars controversy was a wake-up call," and one that he plans to do something about. 

In partnership with agency CAA, Warner Bros., and Paramount, Abrams' production company Bad Robot is enacting a new policy that will change the game: any casting process must include women and minorities. This means that Bad Robot will consciously be accepting submissions and interviews for every position from a large range of demographics.

'Star Wars' Director J.J. Abrams Says #OscarsSoWhite Was a 'Wake-up Call'

"We’ve been working to improve our internal hiring practices for a while," Abrams explained, "but the Oscars controversy was a wake-up call to examine our role in expanding opportunities internally at Bad Robot and externally with our content and partners...we're working to find a rich pool of representative, kick-ass talent and give them the opportunity they deserve and we can all benefit from. It’s good for audiences and it’s good for the bottom line."

CAA will ensure that women/minorities get their fair shot at a job with Bad Robot, targeting them for writing, directing, and acting positions "in proportion to their representation in the U.S. population."

Though some have rejected the notion that minorities are poorly represented in film, the studies don't lie. A February report from USC Annenberg found that 71 percent of speaking parts in movies go to men, while nearly 9 in 10 writers are male.

And for those skeptical that diversity is a boon, we'll just leave this here:

'Star Wars' Director J.J. Abrams Says #OscarsSoWhite Was a 'Wake-up Call'

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