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Regina King: Making Good on a Promise to Diversify Hollywood

During the 2019 Golden Globe Awards, Regina King used her Best Supporting Actress acceptance speech as a public pledge. The actress vowed that she will hire 50 percent women for all the projects she produces over the next two years. The promise, she said, was part of the broader Time’s Up movement, and she encouraged others to join her with specific goals to improve gender equality in Hollywood and elsewhere.

“I just want to say that I’m going to use my platform right now to say in the next two years everything that I produce I am making a vow – and it’s going to be tough – to make sure that everything that I produce is 50 percent women,” said King, who won for her acclaimed role in the Barry Jenkins drama If Beale Street Could Talk. “And I just challenge anyone out there – anyone out there who is in a position of power, not just in our industry, in all industries – I challenge you to challenge yourselves and stand with us in solidarity and do the same. God bless you. Thank you.”

When she was ready to release her next directing effort with Amazon Studios, “One Night in Miami,” King, who also served as a producer on the project, said her pledge was difficult to realize. “No, we weren’t able to accomplish it,” King said. “But we definitely tried.”

However, that doesn’t mean King didn’t make an impact. In fact, you could make the argument that she went a step further.  

“What we were able to accomplish was that well over 50 percent of our crew were people that did not identify as cis white male[s],” she emphasized.

King admitted that so much has evolved since that memorable speech in 2019, including how she views and understands gender and its impact on Hollywood.

“From the moment of me making that proclamation, if you will, to us actually shooting [‘One Night in Miami’] it’s not respectful to regard everything as male or female,” she said. “So moving forward, as I do still feel having more women in positions behind the camera is important, I have to go beyond that.”

“[It’s] a challenge I will continue to try to achieve, even as I make adjustments to what that challenge actually is,” she concluded.

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