J.J. Abrams is a man with power. When you begin with Felicity and end up controlling entire galaxies, there’s nothing you can’t do. Abrams, who revivified the Star Wars franchise this summer (and making more than NASA’s budget with a single two-hour film), now has his sights set on a project even more difficult. And certainly more noble. Abrams is committed to making Hollywood more diverse — and his own company’s personnel better “reflect the country we live in.” That means that projects done by Bad Robot, Abram’s production company, would ideally be staffed by about 6% Asian, 18% Hispanic, 12% African American and 50% women.
Abrams’ initiative is noble, but he’s not working purely for social justice. Abrams understands that greater diversity will mean a greater pool of stories and viewpoints to mine. That means more and better material, the lifeblood of film art, and film business. The noble way, in Abrams assessment, is also the wise and profitable way. As a longtime showrunner, Abrams knows that the world changes because certain people make individual decisions and commitments that power transformation in the world beyond them. That’s what drama is built on.