"History has shown that the force of government is often required to step in and correct issues of civil rights disparities and that is the case here. The system of incentives already exists and has satisfied its original purpose of creating jobs and economic growth. A few small tweaks to these existing programs would allow tax incentives to become part of the solution to the industry's institutional bias.
What might this look like? The simple addition of a 5% Diversity Incentive could reward film and television shows that have women, people of color and LBGT individuals in major roles in front of and behind the camera. This is an easy investment for states to make in creating a more balanced on-screen world. The Diversity Incentive would be over and above the existing program. What’s in it for the states? First, a better representation of their voter’s in the mass media; second, a richer cultural understanding for all of their residents; and finally, an economic boost for a portion of their population that has been traditionally under-served."
"Precedent for legislation that aims to correct civil rights disparities is well documented for other institutions (education, housing, transportation, etc.) and there is even a precedent within existing film tax credit programs. The Illinois Film Tax Credit requires that diversity statistics be recorded and even threatens the credit may be denied without a "good faith effort" to create a diverse behind the scenes environment. Yet government intervention need not be punitive. Positive reinforcement with an emphasis on the top creative jobs in the field is what's required to bring about meaningful and lasting change."
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