Disney has been very clear about their intentions with developing new stories going forward, both in movies and television series, in that they have an eye towards diversity and representation of all genders. The company, as a whole, has been pretty forward facing with this in the short-term and has also made direct references to how the cultural shift is affecting which projects get made. And according to The Direct via Deadline, they are also seeking consultants to help with making sure the new projects align with updated ideas around race and gender. Apparently, they’ve hired someone specifically to work on the upcoming Ms. Marvel to make sure there’s full inclusion with an eye towards diversity.
In this latest report, Disney has hired an outside consulting firm to help make sure their new projects align with the core values around gender and diversity they are looking to espouse. One of those firms, SILA consulting is at the center of this new initiative with their founder Marya Bangee actually being brought on for a set role in the Disney parent company as Vice President of Multicultural Audience Engagement. Bangee is working on a number of different projects within Disney but specifically has been brought in to consult on the upcoming Ms. Marvel series on Disney+.
These ideas around gender and diversity are now a core operating goal for Disney moving forward and one can see why they would want to bring someone on specifically for Ms. Marvel. The series is based on the comic book character of the same name with the alias Kamala Khan. Khan was Marvel’s first-ever Muslim character to lead a comic book in the printed pages and will be among the next group of characters hitting the Marvel Cinematic Universe for their Phase Four of production. It’s important to make sure the storylines are in order with current values and to represent the group correctly on the screen. In this way, Disney is leaving nothing to chance and will go above and beyond to ensure these particular goals are met.
Again, this new mode of operation isn’t totally new for Disney. They have a Diversity Dashboard prominently featured on their website that breaks down their hiring and staffing along both gender and ethnic lines. In this way, they are hoping to be public-facing in their goal to hire a more diverse staff, but likely to also hold the company responsible and accountable for following up with the new initiatives.
And Disney has also taken this approach with how they determine which projects to move forward both in series, but also movie form. Recently it was reported that the company had passed on scripts that, even though they were apparently well-written, didn’t meet the new diversity standards the company was holding in place. It wasn’t good enough to just be “good” anymore. Now Disney wants to make sure their productions are also inclusive and diverse as well. Writers are held to the same standards when creating scripts.
It’s clear that with this hiring of Bangee, the company is continuing to strive for better practices around gender and race, something that has been called into question before with other productions. Though they can’t undo some of the movies and series of the past, it’s obvious that moving forward this is the clear goal for the studio as a whole.