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Ryan Reynolds launches program that will hire Black trainees to work on his new film

Reynolds said his action to be more inclusive is "long overdue."
/ Source: TODAY

Ryan Reynolds is on a mission to bring more diversity to the film industry.

On Friday, he put his money where his mouth is, offering up his own salary to hire a group of trainees who will be "Black, indigenous, people of color or people from marginalized or excluded communities" to work on his next film. The actor, 43, posted a video on Instagram explaining the program.

"Today we're announcing something I'm super excited about. It's called the 'Group Effort Initiative,'" Reynolds says in the video. "Making a movie, well, it's a group effort," the "Deadpool" star continues. "But for entirely too long, that group has systemically excluded Black, Indigenous, people of color and a whole host of otherwise marginalized communities."

Reynolds explains, "COVID willing, which is a weird thing to say, I'm going to be starting a movie this fall and I'm committing to bringing between 10 and 20 trainees from the BIPOC community and any and all other marginalized communities of all ages."

BIPOC is a term referring to Black people, Indigenous people and people of color. It has gained popularity during the recent rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Reynolds goes on to stress that, yes, people of any age will be considered for the trainee roles because "it's never too late."

"The Group Effort Initiative is designed to invest in the talent and creativity of any and all under-represented communities who’ve felt this industry didn’t have room for their dreams," Reynolds captioned the video. "To register yourself, go to the link in my bio." Reynolds added the hashtags #GroupEffort and #MaximumEffort to his post.

Reynolds also says in the video that trainees will be "paid and housed and traveled" out of his own salary. They will be expected to spend their days on set, learning from professionals and getting real-life experience that he says will hopefully lead to other jobs and possibly even a career in the film industry.

"Now this is a long overdue action," Reynolds says, "but I've got to thank Netflix and I have to thank Skydance for letting us do this."

Reynolds ends the video by saying that he hopes the initiative will inspire others "with the privilege that (he's) lucky enough to experience" to join him in his efforts.

Those interested in applying should visit the Group Effort Initiative website for more information and Reynolds says details will be forthcoming "as production gets locked down."

Reynolds' "Group Effort Initiative" is not the first program started to help the BIPOC community in recent months. In June, Women In Film posted on Instagram about their "Hire Her Back" initiative and encouraged employers to rehire women at the same rate as men in the film industry following the coronavirus pandemic.

The organization hopes to highlight how the virus has disproportionately affected Black, Indigenous and people of color and continues to push for gender and racial equality in the film industry.