The Black Beauty Roster Is Trying to Solve Hollywood’s On-Set Diversity Problem

This kind of education is one of the core principles of BBR, but at its helm, the organization works overtime to provide jobs and access to Black beauty professionals who wish to work on major productions and sets. This is precisely why WarnerMedia has partnered with BBR to advance diversity in hair and makeup on set. 

As Variety recently reported, WarnerMedia and BBR launched a “support website,” where producers can find a list of hair and makeup professionals who are fluent in working with diverse hair textures and different skin tones. Both collaborators hope this will directly translate into more Black beauty professionals being hired — and paid comparably to their white counterparts — to staff makeup trailers. 

When describing the intersection between the two companies’ new partnership Yvette Urbina, vice president, equity & inclusion – pipeline and content at Warner Media, tells Allure, “We have three pillars; we have a workforce pillar, a content pillar, which I’m part of, and a program pillar. It’s not just about creating programs to get people into the pipeline, but also looking at how we work with them once they’ve gone through a program. And once they’re in the pipeline, how do we continue to work with them on our content?” By teaming with the BBR, Urbina hopes Warner can increase access to hair and makeup artists of color.

This sort of wide-scale change is much needed, given the current climate of discrimination that can be seen across the country, and not just on set. In January of 2020, a young Black teenager in Texas was forced to cut his dreadlocks to be permitted to walk at graduation, and many students across classrooms and sports have spoken up about being kicked off teams, harassed, and discriminated against based on their natural hairstyles. 

These cases are not rare, in fact they have become a dangerous and frightening normality, which means there is a strong and urgent need for legal reform such as The CROWN Act, a bill that prohibits discrimination based on hairstyle and hair texture by extending protection. The bill was recently passed in the house, and is on its way to the Senate. (The Biden administration has announced it supports this bill.) 

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