Culver City CA – July 13, 2021 – Sony Pictures Television (SPT) in early June 2021 announced the launch of its Diverse Writers Program. Sixteen participants kicked off a six-week professional development program in which they had discussions with creative executives, producers, seasoned writers, and showrunners with the aim of honing their skills in writing scripted television. In addition to having the opportunity to network with industry professionals, each writer was assigned a mentor from SPT’s robust pool of producers and writers. At the conclusion of the training portion of the program, participants met with SPT showrunners and producers and are considered for potential staffing opportunities on US productions. SPT will also select up to four writers with whom to develop pilot scripts for both comedies and dramas. This initiative is part of SPT’s commitment to providing opportunities to talented artists of diverse backgrounds.

“We believe it’s imperative that underrepresented voices have the opportunity to tell diverse and authentic stories that haven’t been told before and to develop into tomorrow’s preeminent showrunners,” said Jeff Frost, President of Sony Pictures Television Studios. “Through this program, we are augmenting our continual efforts to provide emerging writers with an entry point to share their unique perspectives with audiences.”

After receiving nearly 150 nominations from agents, managers, and organizations throughout the industry and conducting blind script reads with the assistance of Coverfly, an online marketplace connecting screenwriters and industry professionals, 16 writers were chosen. They are as follows:

  • Anich D’Jae
  • Benji Kahn
  • Camille Tucker
  • Dane C. Collier
  • Eric Anthony Glover
  • France-Luce Benson
  • Francisco Cabrera-Feo
  • Franky D. Gonzalez
  • Jennifer Frazin
  • Laurie Magers
  • Michael Castaneda
  • Mitali Jahagirdar
  • Quinn Marcus
  • Rebecca Delgado Smith
  • Sean Collins-Smith
  • Taryn Hillin

The Diverse Writers Program, which runs through July 2021, is the latest in a series of efforts by the studio to increase diversity and representation of creative talent behind the camera. It arose from SPT’s pilot program for underrepresented writers which was initiated in 2019. In 2020, SPT’s Gemstone Studios launched its Rising Storytellers Search, a competition seeking female-led narratives. In addition, SPT’s successful Diverse Directors Program recently completed its sixth year. Diverse Directors Program alumni have directed over 25 episodes of SPT series including The BlacklistThe Good Doctor and Atypical. Notable alumni include Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Aneesh Chaganty (Screen Gems’ Searching), Solvan Naim (It’s Bruno) and Milena Govich (FBI), among others.

About Sony Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Television (SPT) is one of the television industry’s leading content providers, producing, distributing and carrying programming worldwide in every genre and for every platform. In addition to managing one of the industry’s largest libraries of award-winning feature films, television shows and formats, SPT is home to a thriving global content business, operating a robust portfolio of wholly-owned and joint-venture production companies across the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific, as well as linear and digital channels around the world. SPT is a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company, a subsidiary of Sony Group Corporation.