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Making industry diversity a priority

More associations hiring staff to oversee efforts to increase representation in workforce

Gibson and PerrymanGibson, left, and Perryman

May 23, 2019
By Walt Williams

Like many kids, John Gibson grew up on a steady diet of movies, but as a person of color he didn’t always see the African American community portrayed in a positive light on film. Now as vice president of external and multicultural affairs at the Motion Picture Association of America, his mission is to correct that imbalance.

“In the last seven years we’ve established relationships with 30 key civil rights and multicultural organizations that are committed to working with us and our studios to help diversify the Hollywood creative pipeline,” Gibson said. “So I view my role really as a master connector: I bring groups in connection with our studios that ordinarily may not interface or interact, or they needed to but the right connections weren’t there.”