US media giants pledge $4m for underrepresented talent

George Clooney in his latest feature film ‘Ticket To Paradise’

A coalition of media companies, including Amazon Studios, Disney, Fox, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, Paramount, and Warner Bros. Discovery have signed on as founding partners of a fund designed to help people from underrepresented backgrounds pursue careers in TV and film.

The Roybal Film and Television Production Magnet Fund was established by industry professionals including Hollywood star George Clooney, producer Grant Heslov and Creative Artists Agency’s Bryan Lourd, to support the Roybal Film and Television Production Magnet, a specialized academy created to drive change by building a more inclusive pipeline of historically underrepresented college- and career-ready students pursuing below-the-line industry careers.

These companies join the previously announced founding partner The History Channel/A+E Networks, along with Netflix and Sony Pictures Entertainment, in collectively committing more than $4m to the school, which officially opened in August with 150 students.

Professionals including costume designers Ruth Carter and Emilio Sosa; production designers Wynn Thomas and Korey Washington; hair and make-up artist Howard Berger; cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt; lighting director Danny Gonzalez; supervising sound editors Bobbi Banks and Glenfield Payne; film editor Michael Tronick; animation artist Vicky Pui; and visual effects producer Brooke Breton; have joined as inaugural members of the Roybal Industry Council, bringing their expertise to the development and delivery of career pathways.

Overseen by Principal Blanca Cruz, the Roybal Film and Television Production Magnet provides Los Angeles Unified school district teachers with access to storytellers, along with industry professionals, and supports students with a robust academic education and practical training.

The Magnet was founded in 2021 by George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Don Cheadle, Kerry Washington, Mindy Kaling, Nicole Avant, Eva Longoria, Working Title Films founders Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner and Bryan Lourd in partnership with Los Angeles Unified.

“People of goodwill will always carve out common ground to meet the needs of our students, our workforce and our school communities,” said Los Angeles Unified superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho. “We are grateful to have the support of these extraordinary industry leaders to create opportunities for our students.”

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