Ava DuVernay Creates Largest Hiring Network In The Industry With ‘Array Crew’ Expansion

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay has doubled down on her commitment to continue diversifying the film and TV industry. Partnering with Hollywood heavy-hitters Brian Grazer and Ron Howard through their Impact platform, the 50-year-old When They See Us director will expand her free service, Array Crew, which boasts over 40,000 active users, stretching its reach to over 1.2 million industry professionals.

According to the Los Angeles Times, this new partnership will constitute the “largest hiring network” in the entertainment industry. “We really did recognize a shared mission here,” Howard said of the merger. For DuVernay, it is yet another way of creating access for “a whole bunch of people who traditionally feel like they’re outside of the system.” To date, Array Crew has been used to staff over 900 films, television shows, commercials, and video projects. In 2022, Impact announced that it closed a $15 million round of funding—raising its total fiscal resources to $21 million—with the help of several notable Silicon Valley and entertainment investors.

Though Howard and Grazer have had a much different journey in an industry that still caters to creators who are both white and male, they, along with DuVernay, saw the present need to keep pushing for true diversity.

“You begin to recognize this insulation is no good for the industry. It doesn’t make any business sense,” Howard said. “It’s bad for the art form, and therefore it is also lousy for society and the audience.” For DuVernay, the power that Grazer and Howard wield in Hollywood as well as the deep pockets of Impact, could help make Array Crew a true power player in the tech space. “We were having challenges breaking into new markets and figuring out technology that would work worldwide,” she said. “Our challenges are that you have to become a tech company in order to run this as a robust digital platform.”

The service will remain free to members, and with Impact’s backing, Array Crew can focus its efforts on further empowering people of color in the industry without bending to the will of outside funders.