Amazon MGM Studios and Prime Video DEI head to leave company

Amazon MGM Studios’ global head of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility will be leaving the company in August.

Latasha Gillespie, who launched the studio’s diversity, equity and inclusion program in 2018, was at Amazon for seven years, five of which were with the studio.

Gillespie will continue to work with the studio as a consultant for a period of time. She will be replaced in the head DEI role by Amanda Baker-Lane, who has more than 14 years of experience in this field, about nine of which were in various roles at Amazon.

In an internal note, Gillespie said that her departure was “bittersweet” and that she was “proud of how we positively impacted the world through our work.”

“It’s very rare that you get to jump into a new venture with the support of your current org while also elevating the people you have been growing and nurturing along the way,” Gillespie added. “I look forward to tapping into other places and spaces that I’m equally passionate about, including public speaking, podcasts, consulting and executive coaching.”

In an internal note, Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon MGM Studios, cited Gillespie’s role in creating the Howard Entertainment Program, a partnership between the studio and Howard University, an on-site mental wellness program and several so-called pathway programs that have increased access for underrepresented groups into the industry.

“Under her leadership, we developed inclusion resources that have resulted in more equitable stories and productions,” Salke wrote.

The move comes nearly a year after a number of diversity, equity and inclusion executives parted ways with various major entertainment and media entities, including Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros. Discovery.

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