Pulse January 2022 - Page 36

areas for improvement and find your own proverbial canaries in the coalmine . How are diversity , equity and inclusion — or the lack thereof — affecting your team , guests and revenue ? You may find that on teams where your employees feel that they don ’ t belong or aren ’ t valued , there ’ s a high rate of attrition . Or you could find through guest surveys how psychologically safe guests feel during their visit and how that translates into loyalty and lifetime value . If one of your key departments is underperforming or continues to experience bias-related issues like microaggression , harassment or discrimination , it may be time to check the temperature of your workplace with a DEI employee survey .
Once you have those insights , you must turn awareness into action . Armed with the data on the metrics you care about , you can start the process of making meaningful changes that can have profound impacts on customer satisfaction and loyalty , workplace culture and your bottom line .
2 . Commit to Change
It ’ s accepted in Hollywood that things will remain the same unless decision-makers implement explicit changes to the way things are done . Given the data on his network ’ s dismal diversity track record , Landgraf and FX began taking major steps to improve diversity in a system rife with bias . First , he directly addressed showrunners — the people who have overall creative authority and management responsibility for an entire television production . “ I wrote a letter to all the showrunners of our shows , asking them to help us do better , but also telling them that we would provide them with all the resources necessary to
make that successful ,” said Landgraf . The CEO urged them to diversify their pool of directors and encouraged them to reach out to FX executives for assistance in finding new and diverse talent .
Under the new FX initiatives , candidates with no prior TV-directing experience could now be considered . Only hiring directors with previous TV
Original poster for This Changes Everything .
experience was one of the practices that reinforced Hollywood ’ s system of bias and discrimination .“ Given that many if not most showrunners and established TV directors are white men , if no effort is made to change the system , the status quo efficiently replicates itself ,” Ryan wrote . Executive producer and showrunner for
Fox ’ s Empire Ilene Chaiken said ,“ It ’ s that classic Catch-22 that plagues us in the television business . You can ’ t do [ TV ] unless you ’ ve already done it .”
The change meant that directors with no prior TV credits could now demonstrate that they had “ an aptitude for finding character moments and emotional moments and could execute them and translate them so that they shine through .” Previously , FX had been looking for directors who had worked on other premium dramas and comedies but found that by looking in other areas , the network was able to find a fantastic caliber of directors .
“ It turns out they were hiding in plain sight ,” Landgraf said .“ I had this unconscious bias that we would have to be making sacrifices to hire people with less experience . And maybe that the talent wouldn ’ t be there . And I ’ m here to say it ’ s there . The minute we open our door , and we say ‘ come express it here ’, the work got better . The quality of work we got from this new crop of directors was actually superior .” And indeed , after implementing major changes and what was seen then as a radical DEI policy , FX landed the most Emmy nominations for a basic cable network , and continued to do so for four consecutive years .
Like Landgraf , leaders in the spa
36 PULSE n JANUARY 2022