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How 10 Actions led to a groundbreaking report on Hollywood

An alum helped shape our commitments to promote racial equity. A year later, he contributed to a new Firm report showing that entertainment studios could gain $10 billion in revenue by developing greater diversity.
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Last year, following the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent soul-searching it caused, McKinsey committed to 10 Actions to promote racial equity and combat racism worldwide. Alum Franklin Leonard (NYO 01-03), founder of Los Angeles-based company The Black List, gave McKinsey valuable input as we developed our Actions, and after the commitments were announced Franklin approached the Firm with another idea: Could Black Hollywood work with McKinsey to put together a study about transforming the entertainment industry?

The result is this groundbreaking report from the Firm: "Black representation in film and TV: The challenges and impact of increasing diversity."

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Alum Franklin Leonard discusses the report on CNBC
To shed light on the scale of the racial disparities in the industry, a small team developed an extensive fact base by analyzing industry data sets and reports; conducting focus groups and more than 50 one-on-one interviews; and mapping the journeys of Black professionals in the industry. The work captured the Black experience of working in Hollywood, both on screen and off-screen, from project conception through the creation, production, distribution, and promotion of shows and films. The team heard first-hand accounts of the systemic obstacles and routine indignities they encounter.


They then identified potential solutions and detailed a road map of actions for developing greater diversity across TV and film, and the economic opportunity in addressing them: $10 billion in additional annual revenues.

Jason Wright (DCO 13-20), who last year was named the first-ever Black president of an NFL team, also participated and helped to make it happen.

This research is a collaboration with the Blacklight Collective, a coalition of Black leaders, artists and executives who work in varied capacities across the film and TV industry. The report has attracted broad media attention, including from The New York Times, CNBC, AP, Forbes, Vanity Fair, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter. The NYT story alone has more than 6,000 social shares.

Related materials

Our 10 actions toward racial equity

How we plan to accelerate change within our firm and help combat racism across the world

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