Variety will host a conference of film executives and stars to discuss solutions to Hollywood’s lagging record in diversity.
The conference, which Variety is to announce Monday, will include keynote conversations with Donna Langley, chairman of Universal Studios, and Pharrell Williams. The singer-producer is co-composing the score for the upcoming “Hidden Figures,” a film about African-American mathematicians working for NASA in the early 1960s.
Dubbed “Inclusion,” the conference is to be held Nov. 1 in Beverly Hills, California. It will include a number of panels focused on finding ways to support underrepresented groups in film and television.
Pharrell Williams and Blake Shelton backstage at the 2016 CMT Music awards on June 8, 2016 in Nashville. (Getty Images)
“There is no issue in Hollywood more important and relevant than diversity and inclusion,” Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, group publisher of Variety, said in a statement.
Age discrimination is also a planned discussion topic at the conference, co-sponsored by AARP. As a way to combat age discrimination, California Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed legislation to require websites like IMDb to remove an actor’s age upon request.
“We hope the dialogue at the Variety conference will lead not only to greater awareness of the issue, but to more and better opportunities for talented actors, producers, directors and others in the creative community – whatever their age,” said Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP chief executive.