May 20, 2022 - Banijay Americas and Group Effort Initiative (GEI) have formed a diversity employment pact that will create below-the-line and entry-level positions for candidates from historically excluded communities on top unscripted series across four of Banijay Americas’ U.S.-based studios.
Through the partnership, 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 via panels, bootcamps and educational sessions.
“It’s incredible to see the support of GEI continue to grow throughout our industry. We are so thankful for early hand-raisers like Banijay Americas for committing to GEI placements across multiple projects,” said Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively in a joint statement. “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.”
Added Karla Pita Loor, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Inclusion and Social Responsibility, “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.”
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 including “Celebrity Big Brother,” “The Miz and Mrs.” and “LEGO Masters.”
In April, a group of GEI candidates gathered at Banijay Americas’ Los Angeles offices for a day of panels and networking, including sessions with Abrego and Endemol Shine North America’s Chief Content Officer Sharon Levy.
GEI, launched by Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively in 2020, strives to create a pipeline for members of underrepresented communities to get real experience towards lasting careers within the entertainment industry. To date, GEI has provided 159 full-time jobs, 673 paid internships and 35 educational training opportunities to over 1,000 participants.