WALT DISNEY TELEVISION LAUNCHES TWO NEW PROGRAMS TO ATTRACT AND DEVELOP TALENT FROM UNDERREPRESENTED BACKGROUNDS
Executive Incubator Program and Television Studios Intern Program Join Well-Established and Long-Running Disney|ABC Programs That Champion Inclusion and Diversity
In order to continue to expand its diverse talent workforce and better reflect the audiences it serves, Walt Disney Television announced the launch of two new initiatives to begin later this year: the Executive Incubator Program and the Studios Intern Program. These new pilot programs will join other well-established programs designed to create opportunities for individuals with diverse and varied perspectives including women, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, military veterans, people with disabilities and others aspiring to hold network executive roles and behind-the-camera positions across the Walt Disney Television studios.
The Executive Incubator Program aims to create a pipeline of next-generation network executives through a two-year rotational program. The apprentice-style pilot program will operate across ABC Entertainment and Freeform. Outreach for candidates will include organizations and nonprofits who advocate for inclusion across a wide range of communities. Individuals selected for the program will gain experience in all aspects of network business, including development, current, casting and marketing with the goal of job placement within the company. The first cohort is expected to join the program in October. Interested applicants can now apply here.
"Our jobs allow us the privilege to nurture great storytellers and it's imperative that these stories come from different places, with authentic points of view and varied perspectives," said Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment. "It's incumbent on us to help find and nurture the next generation of executives who will create new opportunities for storytellers. The Executive Incubator Program is another step in making our ranks more diverse and our stories more reflective of the world we live in."
"The Executive Incubator Program gifts us with the opportunity to continue to create a culture in which the storytellers of tomorrow are given a foundation for a more inclusive and diverse television landscape," said Tom Ascheim, president, Freeform. "Some of the richest storytelling is yet to be found, from perspectives that we haven't yet seen or heard, and we are truly looking forward to welcoming in a new generation of leaders who will open the door to these voices on- and off-screen."
The Walt Disney Television Studios Intern Program will offer a career path for talent from underrepresented backgrounds behind the camera. Qualified candidates will be sourced from nonprofits including Academy Gold, Ghetto Film School, Los Angeles City College, Manifest Works and Evolve Entertainment Fund. Participants will develop their skills with the studios' production, post production, writing and casting teams, and come away from the program with real job experience and a network that will help them take their first steps to an entertainment industry career. The initiative is scheduled to begin in time for the 2019 fall season.
"Our Studios program creates opportunity for underrepresented talent to access an incredible range of career opportunities at Disney Television Studios," said Craig Hunegs, president, Disney Television Studios. "This new initiative is a win-win-win - it helps us discover talent in underrepresented areas, gives candidates real experience as they grow their careers and ultimately leads to more diverse stories being told."
The new initiatives join long-running programs that have made Walt Disney Television an industry leader in championing inclusion and diversity, including ABC Discovers, a series of landmark initiatives created by ABC Talent and Casting that identify, develop and mentor talent from around the world; the Disney|ABC Writing Program; Disney|ABC Directing Program; Women's Production Program and National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) TV Writers Program.