Hollywood‘s beloved debonair George Clooney is helming the launch of a new high school specifically tailored to leveraging the industry’s immense resources to increase accessibility and eliminate the odds stacked against low-income communities and people of color.
Dubbed the Roybal School of Film and Television Production, the magnet program comes from a partnership between the Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner and an ensemble of A-list celebs — including Clooney, Eva Longoria, and Kerry Washington. The pilot program is set to launch in fall 2022 and will house ninth and tenth graders; additional secondary grades will be added over the next two years. While the curriculum is conceptualized to adhere the state of California’s standards, the enriching courses are an extraordinary wellspring of resources for students primed to enter the upcoming generation of filmmaking and production. Along with their unprecedented access to industry professionals for training, students will also be immersed in real-word experiences through an inclusive internship program. “This effort will help open the doors of opportunity for a diverse group of students from underserved communities,” Beutner said in a statement via Deadline. “This groundbreaking program will help prepare students for good-paying jobs in the film and television industry by integrating practical industry experience and internships for students into the curriculum.” The program’s founders, including the celebrity coalition, will serve on the school’s Production Advisory Board to continue their intentions of fostering an inclusive, diverse group of talent to enter the entertainment realm.
Moreover, the school is Hollywood’s latest initiative to rectify its deeply-seeded and long-standing inclusion crisis. Over the years, #OscarsSoWhite and the industry’s own #MeToo reckoning ushered the disparate experience of people of color and women into questioning. “Our aim is to better reflect the diversity of our country,” Clooney said. “That means starting early. It means creating high school programs that teach young people about cameras, and editing and visual effects and sound and all the career opportunities that this industry has to offer. It means internships that lead to well-paying careers. It means understanding that we’re all in this together.”