Bad Robot, the Hollywood studio headed by J.J. Abrams and behind the hit series Lost and HBO’s Westworld, as well as the Mission: Impossible movies, has issued an internal employee guide to “dismantling white supremacy at work” in which it encourages employees to create an “anti-racist” work environment.
The guide tells managers that they need to acknowledge “systemic racism” and “state-sanctioned violence against Black people.” It also tells managers to give black employees “time off, no questions asked.” Bad Robot released a copy of the guide on its official Twitter account.
“At Bad Robot, we are committed to dismantling white supremacy at work and at large,” the studio tweeted. “We are following leading academics, activists & artists and have compiled an evolving set of resources that we are sharing with friends and colleagues. Onward!”
At Bad Robot, we are committed to dismantling white supremacy at work & at large. We are following leading academics, activists & artists and have compiled an evolving set of resources that we are sharing with friends and colleagues. Onward! https://t.co/fELolh1SaM pic.twitter.com/hp8PnlQxgx
— Bad Robot (@bad_robot) June 23, 2020
The employee guide says “white supremacy” is no longer just associated with Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. It now lurks in the everyday assumptions and attitudes of white people.
“White supremacy” is
“ever present in institutional and cultural assumptions that assign value, morality, goodness, and humanity to the white group while casting people and communities of color as worthless, immoral, bad, and inhuman and ‘undeserving.'”
Bad Robot said managers should talk to employees about non-work-related news as a way of addressing white privilege.
“Sometimes, our privilege enables us to set aside horrific news and go about our days as usual,” the company said. “Often, compartmentalization is a survival mechanism. And for many Black staff, managers, and leaders, it is a suffocating performance of professionalism.”
“As a leader or manager, especially if you’re not Black, merely naming what’s happening can help lift the burden of pretending that everything is OK.”
Managers are also told to give black employees time off with no questions asked:
“While some people may turn to work as a coping mechanism, most people would probably benefit from more space. That’s why you might consider making time off the norm—something that your Black staff members don’t need to opt into or request as an accommodation.”
Bad Robot’s guide includes a recommended reading list that includes Ta-Nehisi Coates’ article “The Case for Reparations” in The Atlantic.