Diversity

Business • Media & Advertising
NBCUniversal wants to increase diversity, starts "Fifty Percent Challenge Initiative"
NBCUniversal wants to increase diversity, starts "Fifty Percent Challenge Initiative"
Credit: unsplash.com/Matt Botsford

NBCUniversal has announced that in an effort to increase diversity and inclusion in its workforce, it is starting the "Fifty Percent Challenge Initiative". The initiative, which was sent out in a memo to employees at NBCUniversal News Group, calls to have a workforce made up of 50 percent people of colour and 50 percent women but the network has not included a timeline.

"We want to increase diversity and inclusion both in front of and behind the camera, and earn the trust of every community in America that relies on us for exceptional journalism,” so Cesar Conde, chairman of the NBCUniversal News Group.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Oscars to implement "representation and inclusion standards"
Red carpet at 81st Annual Academy Awards in Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles
Red carpet at 81st Annual Academy Awards in Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles Credit: Greg in Hollywood (Greg Hernandez) / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In a statement on Friday, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars, has announced that movies will be required to meet certain "representation and inclusion standards" to be eligible for an award. The new standards will be implemented next year, but the Academy was vague on the details of those news standards.

CEO Dawn Hudson's statement read: "While the Academy has made strides, we know there is much more work to be done in order to ensure equitable opportunities across the board. The need to address this issue is urgent. To that end, we will amend – and continue to examine – our rules and procedures to ensure that all voices are heard and celebrated."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Fashion
Samira Nasr named first black Editor-In-Chief of US Harper's Bazaar
Screenshot of Samira Nasr's statement on Hearst's Instagram account
Screenshot of Samira Nasr's statement on Hearst's Instagram account Credit: hearst via Instagram

Samira Nasr has been appointed as Editor-in-Chief of publisher Hearst's fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar, making her the first woman of colour to hold the top editor position in the magazine's 153-year history. Nars, the daughter of a Lebanese father and Trinidadian mother, is leaving her position as fashion director at Condé Nast's magazine Vanity Fair and will begin work at Harper's Bazaar on July 6.

In a video posted to Hearst's Instagram account, Nasr introduced herself and said: "At this particular moment in our nation's history, I am honoured to be at the helm of such an iconic brand. As the proud daughter of a Lebanese father and Trinidadian mother, my worldview is expansive and is anchored in the belief that representation matters. My lens by nature is colourful, and so it is important to me to begin a new chapter in Bazaar's history by shining a light on all individuals who I believe are the inspiring voices of our time."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Adam Rapoport resigns as editor in chief of Bon Appétit, staff speaks out against publisher Condé Nast
Screenshots of Sohla El-Waylly's Instagram story, addressing Rapoport and unequal pay at BA
Screenshots of Sohla El-Waylly's Instagram story, addressing Rapoport and unequal pay at BA Credit: Sohla El-Waylly via Instagram Stories

Bon Appétit editor in chief Adam Rapoport has resigned after a photograph of him dressed in "brownface" from the early 2000s surfaced on Instagram. Rapoport announced his resignation on Instagram, writing: "I am stepping down as editor in chief of Bon Appétit to reflect on the work that I need to do as a human being and to allow Bon Appétit to get to a better place".

After the photograph surfaced, BA Test Kitchen Sohla El-Waylly took to Instagram to speak out against publisher Bon Appétit and publisher Condé Nast, saying: "I've been pushed in front of video as a display of diversity. In reality, only white editors are paid for their video appearances. None of the people of color have been compensated". Many of BA's staff members, including Claire Saffitz, Brad Leone, Alex Delany and others, have announced on Instagram that they will not appear in any new BA video material until all their colleagues receive equal pay.

Education • University Education
First black woman student body president elected at MIT
Maclaurin Buildings and Great Dome at MIT, Cambridge
Maclaurin Buildings and Great Dome at MIT, Cambridge Credit: Carol M. Highsmith / Public domain

Danielle Geathers, alongside running mate Yu Jing Chen, was elected as president of the Undergraduate Association at MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Geathers, who previously served as the diversity officer, is the first black woman in the university's 159-year-history to be elected as student body president. “Although some people think it is just a figurehead role, figureheads can matter in terms of people seeing themselves in terms of representation. Seeing yourself at a college is kind of an important part of the admissions process", so Geathers.