Jamila Hunter

Former ABC comedy chief Hunter returned to the Disney fold at Freeform in 2020 and rose quickly to her current role, where she oversees all scripted and unscripted series and development. Among her first projects was the series “Cruel Summer,” which quickly became the network’s highest-rated program of all time. Hunter’s team also developed “Love in the Time of Corona,” the first scripted series to be fully produced in quarantine. She says it’s essential the workforce is as diverse as the audience its shows entertain. With that in mind, all Freeform hiring and staffing decisions “prioritize creating a well-rounded team and creating opportunities for new voices.”

Do you have an example of male allyship that made a difference to you?
I’m very fortunate to have a few women and men who have been long-term mentors. Two men in particular have always supported my curiosity and growth. One of my first bosses, Robert Greenwald, encouraged me to make a list of things I wanted to learn while working at his company. He then ensured that I was exposed to each and every aspect of the business that was on my list. I later worked for Jeff Gaspin at NBC and Bravo when he had oversight of unscripted network programming and a then booming basic cable business. Jeff was similarly open to me being involved in decisions & processes that were not typically in a creative executives’ purview. I still call them both to talk about our rapidly changing business and life in general. Very grateful for them still taking my calls after all these years.”

What’s one way your company has broadened the recruiting process to ensure greater diversity?
It’s essential that the workforce at Freeform is as diverse as the audience that our shows represent and entertain. With that in mind, all of our hiring and staffing decisions prioritize creating a well-rounded team and creating opportunities for new voices. For example, this year our Creative team selected an intern from an HBCU who is now working with us remotely. In addition, Freeform offers both an Apprenticeship & Executive Incubator Program focused on training underrepresented individuals interested in pursuing careers as creative executives. I’m inspired by this new generation every day and see them as vital to keeping our brand relevant and authentic.

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