Signing the pledge is about making the commitment.
Black people represent approximately 15% of the United States and London. The Mill has signed Change The Lens’ ‘Production Company’ pledge, which commits to achieving at least 15% Black Directors on the company’s roster and to working with a Diveristy & Inclusion consultant to reach this goal.
On joining the initiative, The Mill’s Executive Director Stephen Venning said: “As a business of scale and legacy, The Mill clearly has responsibility to be more introspective than most. As a company we have the ability to set a benchmark for diversity, equity & inclusion within the industry, along with having a broader reach to be able to significantly change the way we hire and make a material difference to Black creatives’ lives.
Since the BLM movement we have acknowledged we need to add more diversity to our global Director roster. Change The Lens is a pledge which has inspired us to engage in depth with our Black production colleagues to hear about the issues they face as they move through the industry. These honest discussions will help us to pinpoint the areas where we are lacking and understand the change in behaviour we need to embrace. Engaging the wider team in these discussions and working with Black producers like Tanya Ferguson led us to rostering Directing duo NOTHING LOST, made up of Chas Appeti and Junior Okoli. Our search for great Black talent, Directors and crew very much continues at pace.
Our collaboration with NOTHING LOST will aim to give the duo access to more mainstream projects and bigger budgets than they might previously have had. While not dismissing NOTHING LOST’s love for grime and music videos, we need to give great talent more access to wider opportunities which might come more easily to their White counterparts. This is how we will fully embrace the Change The Lens pledge.”
Change The Lens was founded by Savanah Leaf, Alli Maxwell, Rohan Blair-Mangat & Jason Harper. You can find out more about Change The Lens on their website or follow them on Instagram @changethelens. View the full list of pledgers here.
Signing up to Change The Lens is one of many steps The Mill is taking to ensure Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is front and centre to how we organize and run our business. We are committed to genuine change at The Mill and across the wider industry. We recognise our creativity needs diversity and know we are at our best when we work with talent from diverse backgrounds, cultures, geographies and human experiences. We have more to do but are making changes across our studios one step at a time. We will continue to update our community regularly on all Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives as they develop.