Sections Development

Evaluating Material from Survivors

Hire Survivors Hollywood shares recommendations on how to support survivors, and their stories, when evaluating material.

Dear Hollywood, no stories about survivors without survivors
"I dedicate this story to every single survivor of sexual assault."
Michaela Coel
in her acceptance speech after she became the first Black woman to win the Emmy award for Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for her HBO drama, "I May Destroy You," which she wrote, directed, and starred in. The series is inspired by Coel's experience of being a survivor of sexual assault.

Evaluating Material

  • Make sure your readers, department heads, or other folks with hiring power evaluate material based on the quality of the idea, writing, and potential, and not solely on past successes, credits, or name recognition (this is particularly important because so many survivors and Silence Breakers have faced retaliation and other career delays or lack of opportunities that make it more difficult for them to have already acquired “impressive” credits).
  • Make sure you have folks who are trauma informed and familiar with issues surrounding survivors and survivor stories evaluating the materials. It is essential that stories- whether they are specifically about abuse or not- begin to be told through the lens of those who have not had as many opportunities to have their stories told, allowing for stories to move away from damaging stereotypes and tropes.
  • Put out a press release indicating your partnership with Hire Survivors Hollywood with a call to action encouraging survivors and Silence Breakers to actively submit to your company and projects.
  • Send out a similar notice to all appropriate professionals such as agents, managers, casting directors, and unions to encourage them to submit their clients, and inform their members of your new efforts.

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