Oscar-winner Regina King pledges to include non-binary talent in her landmark drive to make film more diverse

Matilda Davies
·2-min read

Actor and director extraordinaire Regina King has expanded her pledge of ensuring all projects she produces are “50 per cent women” to include non-binary people, too.

When King won a Golden Globe Award for her role in If Beale Street Could Talk in 2019, she used her speech to promise all her projects going forward would be at least half staffed by women.

Now she wants to make that promise less binary, and more inclusive of trans non-binary talent.

In a recent interview with Insider, she reflected: “From the moment of me making that proclamation, if you will, to us actually shooting [new film One Night in Miami] – it’s not respectful to regard everything as male or female.

“So moving forward, as I do still feel having more women in positions behind the camera is important, I have to go beyond that.”

She added: “[It’s] a challenge I will continue to try to achieve, even as I make adjustments to what that challenge actually is.”

In her Golden Globes speech, King said: “I’m going to use my platform right now to say in the next two years everything that I produce, I am making a vow – and it’s going to be tough – to make sure that everything that I produce is 50 per cent women.

“And I just challenge anyone out there, anyone out there who is in a position of power, not just in our industry, in all industries, I challenge you to challenge yourselves and stand with us in solidarity and do the same.”

King’s first directorial project since that speech was One Night in Miami, a film about a fictional night where Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown discuss their roles in the civil rights movement.

The film was released on Amazon Prime on 26 December, 2020.

King told Insider that on this occasion, she and her team “weren’t able to accomplish it, but we definitely tried”.

However, they did make an important stride for representation.

The Oscar-winner continued: “What we were able to accomplish was that well over 50 per cent of our crew were people that did not identify as cis white male[s].”

In 2020, no female directors were nominated for a feature film directing award by the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, Directors Guild or Oscars.

Asia Kate Dillon, the first non-binary actor to play a non-binary character on a major TV show, has been campaigning since 2017 for better inclusion for trans and non-binary people in TV and film.

In 2020, talent manager Mark Jermin said more casting directors were actively seeking out non-binary actors.