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BBC commits US$168.5 million toward “diverse and inclusive content”

The BBC is putting £100 million (USD$168.54 million) of its existing commissioning budget toward “diverse and inclusive content” over the next three years, the British pubcaster announced Monday (June 22). The ...
June 22, 2020

The BBC is putting £100 million (USD$168.54 million) of its existing commissioning budget toward “diverse and inclusive content” over the next three years, the British pubcaster announced Monday (June 22).

The organization will also enforce a mandatory 20% “diverse-talent target” to all new network commissions from April 2021.

To demonstrate “change is being delivered,” the BBC will lay out progress in its annual report.

The measures are designed to increase diversity and inclusion both on- and off-air, and the £100 million (deployed from 2021 to 2024) will support that commitment in the BBC’s TV output across all genres.

It will also support the BBC’s Diversity Code of Practice and commits the organization to create content with at least two of three priorities: Diverse stories and portrayal on-screen; diverse production teams and talent; and diverse-led production companies.

BBC director-general Tony Hall, who will exit the pubcaster this summer, said in a statement: “The senseless killing of George Floyd — and what it tells us about the stain of systemic racism — has had a profound impact on all of us. It’s made us question ourselves about what more we can do to help tackle racism — and drive inclusion within our organization and in society as a whole. This is our response — it’s going to drive change in what we make and who makes it. It’s a big leap forward — and we’ll have more to announce in the coming weeks.”

The BBC also made several commitments as part of its Creative Diversity investment, including: holding regular meetings to enable under-represented talent to engage with BBC staff and external suppliers; developing a “diverse digital database” for the industry and accelerator program; working with the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative on the ‘Belonging Blueprint’; “developing diverse leaders” at the BBC; and publishing a “detailed Diversity Commissioning Code of Practice report.”

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About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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