Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively’s Group Effort Initiative Partners With Netflix to Expand Hiring Pool

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Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively’s company Group Effort Initiative is working with Netflix to hire people from underrepresented communities in film and television production jobs.

The partnership, which focuses on below-the-line career opportunities, aims to create training and entry-level job options for marginalized communities in the U.S. and Canada. The program will support GEI participants with on-set production training and placement on several Netflix productions in North America in 2022.

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“We started the Group Effort Initiative a little less than two years ago to create a pipeline for underrepresented voices in our industry,” Reynolds and Lively said. “Its growth has exceeded our wildest expectations and it could not have succeeded as it has without the unwavering support of Netflix. What started on ‘The Adam Project’ will now expand to many more Netflix productions. We thank Scott Stuber and the entire team for their commitment to inclusion. We won’t let you down.”

Reynolds and Lively launched and financed Group Effort Initiative in August 2020. Run through their companies, Maximum Effort and B for Effort, Reynolds and Lively started the company to create a pipeline for members of underrepresented communities to get real jobs in the entertainment industry.

Its first group of trainees worked on the set of Netflix’s science-fiction adventure “The Adam Project” in Vancouver, serving as entry-level production assistants (PAs) in various departments including camera, construction, costume, makeup, production design, production office and VFX. Since both parties found the collaboration to be successful, Netflix and GEI partnered on other projects, such as Noah Baumbach’s next feature “White Noise;” director Kenya Barris’s star-studded comedy “You People,” featuring Eddie Murphy, Jonah Hill and Julia Louis-Dreyfus; and the Obama-produced dystopian adaptation “Leave the World Behind,” starring Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali.

“At Netflix, we believe more people deserve to have their lives reflected on screen and that starts with the important people behind the camera,” said Scott Stuber, Netflix’s head of global film. “We are thrilled to partner with Ryan and Blake to create opportunities for the next generation of creatives who will shape the future of the entertainment industry.”

Group Effort Initiative and Netflix have already begun staffing people on productions on Long Island and in Los Angeles. This partnership is part of Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity, an effort to help create more behind-the-camera opportunities for underrepresented communities within the TV and film industries.

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