#OscarsSoWhite Creator April Reign launched Akuarel last week, an online database for minorities working in Hollywood and other creative industries. The project has been a work-in-progress for two years.
Akuarel, named after the French word for “aquarelle”, is in partnership with the Motion Picture Association of America. The site itself was built by the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. The database will be free for users, but studios will have to pay for a subscription to access the user database. You can check out the site here.
“This answers one of the issues raised by #OscarsSoWhite of studios saying, ‘We want to work with people from marginalized communities, but we just don’t know where to find them,’” Reign told Mic. “This is going to drop them right in their lap.”
Akuarel has been in the works since 2016’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy, and it’s an easy answer for Hollywood executives who say they can’t find actors or filmmakers of color. That being said, the database isn’t just for the entertainment industry — people of color working in media can also use the service. “Our main objective now is to get Akuarel populated by the talent and the stakeholders themselves,” David Morgan, president of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association, told Mic. “The value to the studios will be once it’s sufficiently populated. A lot of the studios were already partnering with us on sponsorship arrangements.”