The hottest word in Hollywood these days is diversity, and bringing in a new palate of faces in all areas is none other than suave A-lister George Clooney.
Gorgeous George is spearheading an ambitious new project to make Hollywood sets the scene for more inclusion in front of the camera as well as behind the scenes.
His vision became a reality this year when the Roybal School of Film and Television opened its Production Magnet.
The institution with 150 ninth- and 10th-graders in the vast Los Angeles Unified School District will soon be underway.
The new magnet project will be housed within the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center.
Its focus hopes to build a collection of underrepresented backgrounds. Another goal is to give candidates the opportunity to know the ropes. They may have the will and the determination but lack the chance to break into well-paid union jobs.
The project aims for a wide variety of career goals like camera operators, make-up artists, set directors and more.
Clooney compared it to wanting to become a doctor.
“If you learn a trade, if you work and get good at your trade, there will be jobs for you,” he said.
The “Ocean’s Eleven” star acknowledges that business is tough, and you are sure to hear a lot of noes before you hear your first yes. But everyone on the project is determined to make their dream a reality.
Last week, he joined fellow celebs like Mindy Kaling, Don Cheadle and LA Unified School District Superintendent Alberto M. Cavalho in the organization’s debut.
“When our children are left out, the adults who they should become and will become will never have the opportunity they should,” said Carvalho. “Talent is equally distributed. Opportunity is not, and that makes a difference.”
The effort comes under criticism that Hollywood is too white and too male, and it is time to let others into the tent.
Several companies have vowed to diversify their staffs, especially when it comes to film crews, but so far, it’s been slow going. The new school is among initiatives backed by studios and filmmakers to address the problem. Producer-writer-director Grant Heslow and Creative Artists Agency Co-Chairman Bryan Lourd agree that more needs to be done. They established the Roybal Film and Television Production Magnet Fund, which raised $4 million for the new school.
The founding partners include Amazon Studios, Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversial/Telemundo, Fox, Netflix, Warner Brothers, Sony, and Discovery among others.
Board members include actors Kerry Washington and Eva Longoria.
So even though the endeavor is just getting started, it has a lot of star power behind it for a promising future.
Malibu wedding bells?
Sean Penn and Madonna did it, so did Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt, but could another tying of the knot be on the way for Jennifer Garner and CEO John Miller?
Recent tabs are filling their pages with talk that Garner and hunky burger exec Miller will take a walk down the aisle Malibu-style. For now, the two are keeping things very hush-hush, but there is talk that they are planning a no-frills wedding in the ‘Bu. One source says the businessman recently purchased some property in the area with plans to build a ranch. Nothing is for sure, but don’t be surprised if you soon see a new brood in the neighborhood!