At Fearless, we believe that the entertainment industry should be diverse and inclusive. If it were, Fearless wouldn’t even be a necessary streaming service. But, since it’s not, Fearless exists to showcase every voice that is being left under-represented.
The following is the guidelines that Fearless employs to decide wether content is appropriate for streaming on Fearless or not. We are publishing it publically as we believe that it may be a resource for people to make the entertainment industry (and life in general) more inclusive.
Part A. Encouraging Inclusive Content
Amplifying under-represented content
Representations of every gender, sexuality, race, economic status, ability, health status and other factors should be AMPLIFIED. When possible, they should be given ADDITIONAL funds and resources to help combat the fact that under-represented groups are often at a lesser advantage than their well-represented peers.
More inclusive hiring
Whenever possible, filmmakers and film studios should attempt to add more diversity in their cast, characters, story, crew and executives. When limited diversity or inclusion is present, greater efforts should be made to rectify the issues with future hires.
Discouraging anti-inclusive elements
Encouraging inclusive content is not enough. We must also work to ensure that anti-incusive elements are not present in the films and series we watch.
- The use of racial slurs (unless they are voiced by the oppressed group).
- The use of homophobic slurs (unless they are voiced by the oppressed group).
- The use of transphobic slurs (unless they are voiced by the oppressed group).
- Violence against under-represented groups perpetuated by a well-represented group. Exceptions are made when the content makes it clear that such behaviour is not appropriate or condoned.
When anti-inclusive elements are present, they should be edited out of the film/script, etc.
Part B. Preventing Harm, Societal Reversals and Misinformation
It’s crucial that we actively take a stand to prevent harmful content from being amplified.
- Content that reverses progress made towards equality & inclusion (such as including elements such as slavery, violence against women and transphobia in ways that condone and encourage the perpetuation of toxic ideas and conversations). Exceptions are made for content that depicts accurate historical events and/or instances where humour is being used to amplify the harm of these topics, particularly when its the oppressed people who are delivering the humour.
- When possible, content that suggests un-proven statements as facts should be omitted and/or clarified with disclaimers if used for dramatic effect or comedic jest.
- Documentaries, and works that are based on a true story, should be well-researched and showcase multiple points of view. When appropriate, providing reliable sources is a great way to back up claims made.
- Content that is meant to be satirical must make it blatantly clear to even the least-savvy viewer that the content is not the truth, but rather a social commentary. Content should never be so misleading that a viewer may mistake humour for reality.
Part C. Keeping Viewers Safe
It’s important that we make sure that artistic expression and freedom of speech are maintained and not dampened by censorship. Instead, we should attempt to keep our viewers safe through the use of advisories (or content warnings) that help the viewer be informed about what they may experience and the potential triggers that may go along with it. At Fearless, we are against censoring a Creator’s work, but we are pro-advisories that help viewers make their own informed decisions about what they consume.
Part D. Protecting Children
Age Ratings are an important part of the content decision making process for viewers. All content should contain an accurate representation of what the average person may find suitable for key age ranges. This information helps parents protect their children and ensure that they are offering appropriate parental guidance when necessary.
Age-Appropriate Representations of Children
Child actors should never be asked to perform in content that is age-inappropriate, illegal, or that perpetuates crimes like child pornography. Likewise, if we expect filmmakers and film studios to prevent such misuse of children, then we must also ensure that content does not contain these elements. Exceptions can be made for elements that are reasonably harmless and done with parental consent (ie: a child saying a swear in a movie).
Parental Consent is Not Enough
Although legally, parental consent may be all that is required, we believe that Child Consent is also crucial. No child should ever be made to feel as though they have been subjected to, or part of, something they didn’t consent to.
Part E. Ensuring Independent Creators Have a Voice
In order for people to wish to consume content, it must be good. And while good is highly subjective, it’s important that we make sure that we are including under-represented filmmakers which include independent filmmakers/creators. It’s not enough to only amplify the big Hollywood stars and giant Hollywood studios. These are countless independent artists making features, series and shorts that also deserve to have their work seen and shared. That too, is part of being inclusive.
Part F. Accessibility
When possible, content should be made available in formats that are accessible to all. This includes captions/subtitles for the hearing impaired, audio description for the visually impaired, language support and other tools. This is a big task that is often more easily accomplished by established and large companies due to the cost and time required. These reasons do not mean that we shouldn’t be working towards including these elements in the content that we dispatch. We must be patient in our pursuit of accessibility but never stop on the path to achieving it.
Part G. Democratic Interference
Content should never aim to interfere with elections or the democratic process. This should be considered especially heinous.
Part H. Environmental Sustainability
The film industry is extremely wasteful and harmful to our environment. Filmmakers and film studios should make surplus efforts to reduce their negative impact on our environment.
The following are some ideas of how additional sustainability can be achieved.
- Film sets waste a massive amount of water bottles. When possible, plastic water bottles on set should be replaced with a “Bring your own reusable bottle” policy.
- Film Producers should be aware of their suppliers and choose partners to work with that are employing responsible practices.
- When possible, productions should “reduce, reuse and recycle.”
- Studios and filmmakers that can afford to do so, should donate to organizations that can assist in offsetting the negative impacts of their productions.