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Dozens of top Hollywood creatives and activists have signed an open letter in response to the shuttering of production company Participant — imploring the industry to continue to effect change through film and television as the defunct company once did.

George Clooney, Aflonso Cuarón, Ava DuVernay, Jane Fonda, Regina King, Viola Davis, #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, Color of Change president Rashad Robinson and more are signators, in addition to groups like GLAAD and Human Rights Watch. The letter was coordinated by the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), which collaborated with Participant and director Cuarón on a visibility campaign for his 2018 Oscar winner “Roma.”

“As we say goodbye to Participant, we must underscore that values-based storytelling is needed now more than ever,” the letter states. “There is a whole ecosystem of people, connected by the work of the last 20 years of Participant, ready to work with you.”

Founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, Participant shocked and saddened the industry last month when Variety broke the news it would close. The company won 21 Academy Awards out of 86 nominations and grossed more than $3.3 billion at the worldwide box office. Beyond trophies and ticket sales, Participant pushed a business model with a “double bottom line” – to make movies about humanitarian issues, equity and corruption.

“Roma,” which carefully and emotionally depicted the life of a domestic in Mexico City, brought renewed conversations around workers’ rights — resulting in the first introduction of the National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights into Congress, which will be imminently re-introduced and continues to garner support and momentum. This kind of impact is what the group urges show business players to keep alive as media navigates a precarious time.

“Participant’s model of filmmaking and partnerships showed us the power of storytelling to open our hearts and inspire action in times of change and uncertainty,” said NDWA president Ai-jen Poo. “The open letter is a re-commitment to this work, and an invitation to others to join us in harnessing the power of art to change the world.”

Read the full list of names to sign the letter:

George Clooney
Ava Duvernay
Regina King
Kerry Washington
Alfonso Cuarón
Michael Keaton
Diego Luna
Chiwetel Ejifor
Jane Fonda
Vera Farmiga
Martin Sheen
Sophia Bush
Daveed Diggs
Destin Davis Cretton
Davis Guggenheim
David Oyelowo
Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Alan Cumming
Yaltiza Aparicio
Yvette Nicole Brown
Clark Gregg
Alyssa Milano
Piper Perabo
Rosanna Arquette
June Diane Raphael
Juan Devis
DeVon Franklin
Baratunde Thurston
Mark Duplass
Justin Baldoni
Laura Poitras
Louise Hogarth
Mónica Ramírez (Justice for Migrant Women/The Latinx House)
Fatima Goss Graves (National Women’s Law Center)
Anthony Romero (ACLU)
Rashad Robinson (Color of Change)
Bryan Stevenson (Equal Justice Initiative)
LaTosha Brown (Black Voters Matter)
Tarana Burke (Me Too)
Yalda T. Uhls (The Center for Scholars & Storytellers at UCLA)
Muslim Public Affairs Council Hollywood Bureau
New America Better Life Lab’s Entertainment Initiative
PopShift
Storyline Partners
Human Rights Watch
CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment)
Pop Culture Collaborative
NRDC
GLAAD



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