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Ryan Reynolds launches an initiative to train, pay people of color on his next film

Actor Ryan Reynolds
Movie star Ryan Reynolds is launching a diversity initiative that he’s paying for with his own salary.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Inclusivity might be a group effort for some, but Ryan Reynolds is making good on his promise to do the work himself.

The “Deadpool 2" star on Friday announced his upcoming, self-financed diversity initiative, the Group Effort, to give people of color a chance to work and learn on his productions.

“Making a movie is a group effort,” Reynolds said in the video announcement. “But for entirely too long that group has systemically excluded Black, Indigenous, people of color and a whole host of other marginalized communities.”

So, he’s starting to do the work that social justice warriors have called for from people of privilege.

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The irreverent star said he’s “committing to bringing between 10 and 20 trainees from the BIPOC community and any and all other marginalized communities of all ages” to learn about the film industry alongside him and other professionals on the set of his upcoming film.

Those trainees, who can apply for the program online, will be paid, housed and traveled out of his salary, Reynolds said.

He added that this effort is “a long overdue action” and thanked Netflix and Skydance for making it happen.

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“We’re hoping that people with the privilege that I’m lucky enough to experience will join in that effort,” he said.

A new study from Time’s Up and USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative finds women directors and filmmakers of color are “vastly underrepresented” at top film fests.

The initiative, launching through his Maximum Effort production banner, will begin on the set of the actor’s untitled time-travel adventure thriller directed by Shawn Levy, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Though pandemic restrictions could adversely affect production, the film is prepping for a fall shoot in Reynolds’ native Vancouver, Canada.

Reynolds and his team reportedly worked with Stacy L. Smith of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at USC to design the program.

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In June, Reynolds and his wife, actress Blake Lively, penned an open letter confessing they’re “ashamed that in the past we’ve allowed ourselves to be uninformed about how deeply rooted systematic racism is.”

The pair vowed to “end the cycle of hate” to honor George Floyd and “all the other [B]lack men and women who have been killed when a camera wasn’t rolling.” They also donated $200,000 to NAACP Legal Defense Fund.


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