Native American Media Alliance partners with the Motion Picture Association to bolster Native American presence in screenwriting

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Recent Writers Guild of America study showed that Native American writers make up only 0.8% of screenwriters

News Release

Native American Media Alliance

The Native American Media Alliance today announced that the Motion Picture Association will be its partner in advancing its overall mission to bolster the presence of Native Americans in all facets of the entertainment industry. The partnership will focus on cultural sensitivity training, creating a safe space for Native Americans in the industry and promoting Native American writers, including being a resource for writers and through the development of the Native American Media Alliance’s NativeWrites database.

NativeWrites is a database of Native American writers from prestigious labs, programs, and film festivals offered through Native American organizations. The database will be available to all film and television industry decision makers as the industry works to ensure greater diversity, equity, and inclusion. This endeavor is also supported by studios Gunpowder & Sky, Westward Productions and ITV Studios America.

NativeWrites is a database of Native American writers from prestigious labs, programs, and film festivals offered through Native American organizations.
NativeWrites is a database of Native American writers from prestigious labs, programs, and film festivals offered through Native American organizations.(Image: Native American Media Alliance)

“We want to make change through strong advocacy to create a conducive environment for Native Americans in the industry and have greater results that reflect the talent level of our people.” said Cara Myers, Native American Media Alliance Outreach Director.

As part of the Motion Picture Association’s global advocacy on behalf of the motion picture, television, and streaming industry, the association works to address diversity, equity, and inclusion in the industry by establishing programs that promote a diverse talent pipeline. It’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program was launched in 2012 and the association currently partners with over 40 organizations, including the LA Skins Fest.

“Great storytelling requires a diversity of voice, heritage, background, and perspective,” said John Gibson, Vice President of External and Multicultural Affairs at the Motion Picture Association. “In order to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion in the film and television industry, we need to have a pipeline for creators of all backgrounds. We’re honored to partner with the Native American Media Alliance to bolster Native American presence and opportunities in front of and behind the camera.”

A recent study from the Writers Guild of America showed that Native American writers make up only 0.8% of screenwriters, despite making up 1.8% of the population. Native Americans face further adversity when studio, network and production personnel are identifying who represent the ‘authentic’ voice of Native American people. This partnership, including the NativeWrites database, will work to address these disparities.

As the call for diverse voices is on the rise, the Native American Media Alliance seeks to address these issues through cultural sensitivity training for diversity and inclusion departments and corporate social responsibility personnel. These initiatives will advance Native Americans in the conversation of diversity and ensure a stronger position when it comes to inclusion.

About the Motion Picture Association:

The Motion Picture Association, Inc. (MPA) serves as the global voice and advocate of the motion picture, home video, and television industries. It works in every corner of the globe to advance the creative industry, protect its members’ content across all screens, defend the creative and artistic freedoms of storytellers, and support innovative distribution models that bring an expansion of viewing choices to audiences around the world.

Its member studios are: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Netflix, Inc.; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Universal City Studios LLC; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Charles Rivkin is Chairman and CEO.

Native American Media Alliance - NAMA logo
(Image: Native American Media Alliance)
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