July 28, 2021

George Clooney’s lesson in inclusiveness in Hollywood

Barely recovered from a year of confinement in Los Angeles with his wife, Amal, and their 3-year-old twins (“A lot of dishes and diapers to change”, the actor joked), George Clooney has started a new project. This is not a film but a school. In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, the star believes the time has come to remind Hollywood of its promises of inclusivity. To all those in the film industry who say they would be happy to hire more professionals from minorities if they found qualified candidates, the husband of the British lawyer specializing in human rights retorts: stingy!

On June 21, George Clooney announced that he was going to fund a school in the Los Angeles Public School District, where teenagers will be taught film professions. A few of his friends are also involved: actresses Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington and Mindy Kaling, actor Don Cheadle, producer Grant Heslov, Nicole Avant, producer and wife of Ted Sarandos, co-CEO and director of content. of Netflix, and Bryan Lourd, co-chair of the Creative Artists Agency.

Established in a disadvantaged district

“It makes no sense that a city like Los Angeles is not more involved in promoting more underrepresented people,” explained George Clooney to New York Times, in an interview given from his Italian villa on Lake Como, where the couple arrived in early June for their first stay since the pandemic. The program will launch in September 2022 at Edward R. Roybal Learning Center High School in downtown Los Angeles.

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The Roybal School of Film and Television Production will welcome 150 students in grades 3e and 2from the first year, then some 200 students of 1re and final two years later. “Our goal is to better reflect the diversity of the country, The star explained in a statement. Which means you have to start early. We need to create high school programs that teach young people how to operate cameras, editing, visual effects, sound and all the career possibilities that this industry has to offer. “

The Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, which is to house the Roybal School of Film and Television Production, funded in part by George Clooney and other Hollywood stars.

The school was not chosen at random. Located a few miles from Sunset Boulevard and its magical stars encrusted on the sidewalk, the Los Angeles school district – which, with 1,400 establishments, is the second in the country behind New York – has 80% of families living below the poverty line. . Of the 650,000 students, 83% are black or Latino, and more than 100,000 are enrolled in classes where English is a second language.

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