'Blockers' director Kay Cannon on the importance of seeking diversity in film and TV

Sam Ashurst
·Contributor

Hilarious comedy Blockers hits cinemas on Friday, and it couldn’t come at a better time. It’s a sex-comedy that doesn’t objectify its cast, directed by a women, made by a diverse crew. It’s as if Frances McDormand’s inclusion rider speech was put into immediate effect the day after the Oscars.

“Times are changing, and this is a great movie to show that change,” director Kay Cannon agrees.

“I’m glad we objectified my character, I’m really happy about that,” star Leslie Mann jokes.

All gags aside, will Cannon incorporate inclusion riders in the way she puts together projects in the future?

“For sure, I work in television – I had a show on Netflix, and it was very important to hire and look for a diverse crew, and I saw up-front how that can so easily not go in that direction, you have to really seek the diversity of the people you’re hiring.”

Cannon’s revelation comes at an interesting juncture for Netflix. The streaming service recently revealed they won’t be including the practice in the way they do business, with Daredevil showrunner Steven S DeKnight blaming agencies for the difficulties in incorporating diverse writing teams into the streaming service’s set-up.

Still, Cannon managed to mix things up on her Netflix show, Girlboss – with more women on her writing team than men, including Sophia Amoruso, Jen Braeden, Karen Graci, Caroline Williams, Joanna Calo and Cannon herself.

And Cannon believes McDormand’s speech will have a lasting effect. “The fact that Frances McDormand said that, and people are talking about it now, and making sure it’s happening is so great.”

Blockers will be in UK cinemas on 30 March

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