NAACP launches 'fair share' attack on Hollywood More minority hiring sought for blacks

September 24, 1991|By Los Angeles Times

HOLLYWOOD -- In an ambitious bid to pressure Hollywood to hire more blacks, the NAACP announced a plan yesterday to establish a national office here to oversee the entertainment industry and to negotiate "fair share" agreements with individual networks and studios.

If the agreements are reached, they would be the broadest accords of their kind in the motion picture and television world since the civil rights battles of the 1960s.

The NAACP launched a similar campaign against the record industry in 1987, after releasing a report alleging "rampant" racism.

Last year, the organization signed its first fair share agreement with a record company, CBS Records, after threatening a boycott.

The NAACP has signed fair share agreements -- in which companiesagree to hire more minorities both as employees and contractors -- with 65 major corporations, including McDonald's restaurants, General Motors, Pacific Bell and Safeway stores.

In announcing its plans to target Hollywood, NAACP Executive Director Benjamin L. Hooks also warned yesterday that the industry was courting organized boycotts by failing to improve its minority hiring record.

"We may withdraw our enthusiasm for watching certain TV showsor movies," Mr. Hooks warned, adding that the NAACP doesn't use the word "boycott."

The NAACP disclosed its plans, which still require approval by the organization's board, during a press conference in which it distributed a report showing few gains by blacks trying to break into the Hollywood power structure.

Charges of racism in Hollywood are not new. In recent years, organizations such as the Writers Guild of America have repeatedly pointed out inequities in their own ranks.

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