J. J. Abrams Is to Make His Company as Diverse as the U.S.

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Star Wars director and producer J.J. Abrams says he has changed his hiring process so his production company reflects the diverse racial makeup of the nation

Abrams told the Times that any candidate lists for jobs on the production or acting sides needed to “be at the very least representative of the country we live in. Which roughly breaks down to: 50 percent women, 12 percent black, 18 percent Hispanic, 6 percent Asian.”

The director said he realized that any approach to fix Hollywood’s diversity issues had to be “systematic.” “The Oscar issue was symptomatic of a problem; it wasn’t the problem,” Abrams told the New York Times at a conference in L.A. on Tuesday. “The Oscars is the last stop on the train. The first stop is what gets made.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has received praise for the cast’s diversity. Abrams plans to use the new lists to transform the entire makeup of his projects right away. The outline in his memo did not specify guidelines for choosing from the list of candidates for hire.


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Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com