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WarnerMedia Aims to Amplify Marginalized Voices
WarnerMedia, a division of AT&T Inc., announced March 3, 2021 an expanded entry-level Access Writers program that aims to amplify underrepresented voices and historically marginalized narrative writers to provide a pathway into the television industry. The WarnerMedia Access Writers program, formerly known as HBO Access, is one of several innovative initiatives being led by the company's new Enterprise and Inclusion department and will provide emerging writers access to mentors and opportunities across WarnerMedia's cable, network and streaming properties. Recent alumni of the former HBOAccess Writing Fellowship, have worked on HBO series including Lovecraft Country and The Nevers. Applications for the WarnerMedia Access Writers program will be accepted March 8–21, 2021, at warnermediaaccess.submittable.com.
An Advisory Council comprised of established producers (Sara Hess, Nkechi Okoro Carroll, Sarah Schechter, Bird Runningwater, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Sonya Winton-Odamtten, Jonathan Kidd, Bill Lawrence, Mindy Kaling and Ben Stephenson) and executives (Casey Bloys, Chief Content Officer, HBO and HBO Max and Channing Dungey, Chairman Warner Bros. Television Group) within WarnerMedia will help conduct a rigorous interviewing and screening process to select up to 20 writers across various genres for the inaugural seven-month program. This effort aims to more than double the cohort size from previous years. Participants will learn about the television business from internal executives and attend master classes on storytelling and collaborative creative writing with showrunners and other established special guests.
"We realize there's a continued need for representation from a wider variety of perspectives, and we are deliberate about discovering, developing and supporting writers who reflect the range of our global audience," said Karen Horne, senior vice president for Equity and Inclusion at WarnerMedia. "We are intentionally exposing talented writers to our ecosystem in order to change the behind-the-camera landscape of television."
Access Writers will be mentored by WarnerMedia’s upper-level writers who will offer their perspective on their creative growth and career advancement. Completed material will be circulated to internal programming teams, agents and managers leading into staffing season.
The Access Writers program is a core component of WarnerMedia's overall recruitment and development process. The company has several Access programs in development, including initiatives for diverse directors and below-the-line crew members.
These programs are a part of WarnerMedia's development, advancement and succession planning strategy to create a more inclusive and welcoming workplace culture.
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