LOS ANGELES—The Television Academy Foundation is launching a new internship program designed to promote diversity in the unscripted/reality TV sector of the entertainment industry, with the first-ever batch of interns to take part in the summer of 2021.
The Diversity and Inclusion Unscripted Internship Program will provide five internships to students from low-income backgrounds that are attending college/university within the greater Los Angeles area; only graduating students with degrees conferred by June 2021 are eligible to apply. In addition, the TV Academy wants students who “demonstrate a commitment to promoting voices and stories of underrepresented communities and increasing diversity and inclusion” in the TV industry.
The eight-week, paid summer internship will give students exposure to professional unscripted/reality TV production in Los Angeles. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, only remote internships will be offered for this year. There will also be weekly online evening professional development, including panels with TV industry leaders, customized seminars and access to Foundation alumni.
At the completion of the internship, participating interns will join the TV Academy Foundation’s Friends and Alumni Network and be eligible to participate in career support programming provided by the Foundation.
Among the types of internships that the TV Academy Foundation has listed on its website right now are development of unscripted TV with a production company or studio and casting with a production company or office of a casting director.
Per Variety, the internship program was announced on Jan. 26 by Chris Abrego, who serves as chairman of the TV Academy Foundation. Variety quotes him as saying:
“How do we find these younger people of color who want the opportunity? I literally grew up, born and raised, 22 miles from Hollywood, but it might as well have been more than 3,000 miles. [This idea] spoke to exactly what was my story and how I got started. And it made complete sense to me. We truly want to integrate them into this business. Our ultimate goal is employment.”
The submission period for the Diversity and Inclusion Unscripted Internship Program will open on April 7 and run through May 5. Voting members of the TV Academy will select the finalists in early May, upon which finalists will have to submit a video interview to specific questions. Students selected for the program will be notified in late May. Remote internships would take place from June 13-Aug. 13.
For more information, visit the TV Academy Foundation website.
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