“#Comcast Has a $100 Million Plan to Fight Injustice and Social Inequality”
Hollywood has been wrestling with how to better improve its diversity efforts for years, with small steps forward being made in the years since the 2014 Ferguson protests and #OscarsSoWhite. But with Black Lives Matter protests sweeping the nation — and the world — it’s clear that progress is still miniscule. Comcast is stepping up to attempt to remedy that with a $100 million plan to fight “injustice and inequality against any race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability.”
Comcast is committing $100 million to a three-year plan to fight injustice and social inequality, in a new initiative announced by Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The initiative kicks off with a $75 million cash commitment and $25 million in media.
The announcement comes in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, which moved Roberts to vow that the company was looking to play a “constructive role” in the ongoing uproar over systemic racism in the entertainment industry.
“Last Sunday, I wrote to you to express my outrage over the far too familiar and frequent acts of violence against the black community, and to acknowledge the structural racism that fuels these injustices,” Roberts wrote in a blog post on Monday. He continued:
“I’ve spoken with many employees – as have our leaders across Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal and Sky – and we have begun to mobilize as a company. While we recognize we don’t have all the answers, we agree it’s time that we start putting our words into real, sustainable action. We know that Comcast alone can’t remedy this complex issue. But you have my commitment that our company will try to play an integral role in driving lasting reform.”
Through the initiative, Comcast plans to partner with, and provide grants to, organizations working to eradicate injustice and inequity,” including the National Urban League, the Equal Justice Initiative, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund). The company also promises to “accelerate our efforts in all areas of diversity and inclusion,” with more emphasis on hiring people of color to “highlight black voices and black stories.” Comcast also plans to help fund and support small businesses that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The details of the initiative are vague for now and echo many of the demands of Black Lives Matter activists — more representation in the workplace, pay equality, etc. — but it’s a major step in the right direction. Comcast is a massive corporation that could set a precedent for how other media and entertainment companies respond to Black Lives Matter, apart from empty platitudes on social media. It’s encouraging to see that Comcast is putting its money where its mouth is by boosting Black local groups and organizations as well as attempting to remedy its own workplaces.
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