A few years ago, a group of writers and editors, including Durga Chew-Bose and Jazmine Hughes, started the Twitter account Writers of Color. It’s an online resource, complete with a list, that spotlights people of color working in media (or aspiring to join their ranks). The account has amassed more than 28,000 followers in its tenure, connecting editors in need of neglected perspectives with writers more than happy to provide them. Now, the television industry is set to begin a similar service–one that is long overdue.
Talent agency CAA has just launched the Amplify Database, a searchable directory of more than 800 people of color who have at least one writing credit in the TV space. CAA announced the new venture at its second annual Amplify conference. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the company originally conceived the project for its own use, but decided to open it up for free, public use at Amplify Database. Users can search through a number of category filters to match the right person with the right position.
In an interview with Fast Company earlier this year, veteran comedy writer Nell Scovell made the case for why bringing in a wealth of different perspectives to a TV show invariably creates a richer palette of jokes and storylines. It’s something she’s spent years explaining to friends in the industry who staff their shows exclusively with white guys. Thanks to this database, a wealth of showrunners may soon find out what she was talking about firsthand.