Banijay Americas and Group Effort Initiative (GEI), which was launched and financed by Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, have formed a diversity employment pact.
The partnership aims to create below-the-line and entry-level positions for candidates from historically excluded communities on unscripted series across four of Banijay Americas’ U.S.-based studios. Banijay-owned Endemol Shine North America, Bunim/Murray Productions, 51 Minds Entertainment and Truly Original have committed to partnering with GEI across all of their U.S.-based productions and will provide training and access to GEI members through panels, boot camps and educational sessions.
Last year, GEI and Banijay Americas kicked off their collaboration on Endemol Shine North America’s hit series MasterChef. Since then, GEI candidates have secured positions with Banijay-produced series such as Celebrity Big Brother, The Miz and Mrs. and LEGO Masters.
“It’s incredible to see the support of GEI continue to grow throughout our industry,” said Reynolds and Lively. “We are so thankful for early hand-raisers like Banijay Americas for committing to GEI placements across multiple projects. This expansion into unscripted productions provides new access to GEI members and will further our mission to bring new voices into our industry.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively’s Group Effort Initiative to offer candidates from historically excluded groups the training, access and opportunity required to build careers in the entertainment business,” said Banijay Americas’ chairman, Cris Abrego. “At Banijay Americas, we are committed to supporting initiatives like these that translate into real jobs and meaningful change for our industry.”
Karla Pita Loor, executive VP of enterprise inclusion and social responsibility at Endemol Shine North America, said, “With this partnership underway, our focus now will be on providing ongoing support and training for these early-career creatives, as well as working closely with our network of industry partners to expand GEI’s reach across the unscripted world.”