Director of Diversity: Tery Lopez
Coordinator: Mai Tran-Lanza
Assistant: Christian Estrada
Diversity Main Line: (323) 782 -4589
The WGAW Diversity Department works to encourage positive change in hiring practices of black, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian, women, writers over age 40, gay and lesbian writers, and writers with disabilities. The department also works to promote a more positive image of historically underemployed writers and to increase awareness of the unique obstacles often faced by these writers.
Charged with building cultural bridges between industry executives, producers and writers that are demographically underrepresented—both within the membership as well as those who work in areas not yet covered by the Guild—the Diversity Department coordinates and attends meetings with studios, networks, production companies, agencies, and sister Guilds to discuss diversity issues, statistics and plan joint projects.
The department also works with WGAW member diversity committees to develop events which range from panel discussions on various aspects of the craft of writing to networking opportunities with industry producers and executives. In the past year, the staff of the Diversity Department worked with the leadership of these committees to stage 41 diversity programs. The department participates in numerous events with external organizations including discussions at film festivals and industry conferences with a focus on improving the status and the image of diverse writers in film and television.
In addition, the department works with studios and networks on their individual access programs, such as the Disney Studios/ABC Entertainment Writing Fellowship Program, which serve to discover and train culturally and ethnically diverse writers in the feature film and television arenas.
The department is responsible for administering the freelance compliance requirement of the Guild’s contract, which offers new writers an opportunity to be introduced to television writing. This provision makes it practical to employ new writers from diverse backgrounds.
Diversity Programs, Committees, and Resources