The Initiative Seeks to Amplify Diverse Creators, Producers and Production Companies
First Joint Content Project Titled “Rebuilding Black Wall Street: Greenwood” Will Premiere This Fall on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, and Warner Bros. Discovery today announced a strategic partnership between GroupM Motion Entertainment and Warner Bros. Discovery to support GroupM’s Diverse Voices Accelerator (DVA), a positive impact initiative that supports creators, writers, producers, directors and studios from traditionally underrepresented groups in entertainment. This partnership brings the strength of both organizations, GroupM’s media and entertainment expertise, and Warner Bros. Discovery’s best-in-class storytelling, to develop inclusive content that represents diverse audiences and provides connective and organic sponsorship opportunities for advertisers. Series developed through the DVA will be available across Warner Bros. Discovery networks and platforms.
“We have a responsibility to create a more inclusive and equitable industry,” said Kirk McDonald, CEO, GroupM North America. “This benefits everyone. It empowers content creators who face barriers, provides brands with access to diverse and engaged audiences, and offers viewers authentic programming that captures the richness of the human experience.”
“Entertainment has a powerful influence on culture. We are committed to supporting the stories and talent that make a positive impact both in front of and behind the camera,” said Chet Fenster, GroupM Motion Entertainment. “We are proud that Warner Bros Discovery has joined as a network partner, sharing our goal to tell stories that enlighten and entertain all audiences.”
“Warner Bros. Discovery stands for authentic, aspirational and safe programming environments that underrepresented communities can see themselves in, and we pride ourselves in our unique ability to unlock opportunities for brands that share our values,” said Sheereen Russell, SVP, Ad Sales and Inclusive Solutions at Warner Bros. Discovery. “We are thrilled to enhance our commitment to equity and support for creators and producers of color on our platforms through this partnership with GroupM.”
The first content development project supported by the strategic partnership is a six-part documentary series titled “Rebuilding Black Wall Street: Greenwood” premiering this fall on OWN. Created by executive producer Ri-Karlo Handy and his company Sunwise Media, Inc., the renovation series will chronicle the reconstruction of the Greenwood District of Tulsa, which was destroyed in the 1921 massacre. Over the course of six episodes, the host and build teams will guide viewers through Greenwood’s rich history and the personal journeys of the cast, many of whom are the descendants of Black Wall Street residents.
In addition to content development, the DVA provides opportunities for brand support with unique activations that create organic and thoughtful messaging to consumers. Projects created under the DVA will be supported by GroupM agencies including Mindshare, Wavemaker and EssenceMediacom, with participating clients like Domino’s (a Mindshare client) and other brand partners, who are all committed to diversity and inclusion.
“At Domino’s, it’s important that both our media and advertising reflect the diversity of our customers, our team members and the communities we serve,” said Kate Trumbull, Domino’s Senior Vice President, Brand and Product Innovation. “Through our partnership with GroupM’s DVA program, we are proud to support the creation of original programming developed by a variety of diverse voices in media and entertainment.”
The DVA is a part of GroupM’s Media Inclusion Initiative (MII) —an integrated strategy for directing investment in and creating opportunities for diverse media companies and content creators – and a key pillar of GroupM’s Responsible Investment Framework.