CBS outlined a target today (Nov. 9) that requires at least half of the contestants featured on its future unscripted programs to be Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) beginning in the 2021-2022 broadcast season.
The network stated it will also allocate at least a quarter of its annual unscripted development budget to projects created or co-created by BIPOC producers; and develop future initiatives with its production partners to expand diversity across the creative and production teams involved in unscripted series.
“The reality TV genre is an area that’s especially underrepresented, and needs to be more inclusive across development, casting, production and all phases of storytelling,” George Cheeks (pictured), president and CEO of the CBS Entertainment Group, said in a statement. “As we strive to improve all of these creative aspects, the commitments announced today are important first steps in sourcing new voices to create content and further expanding the diversity in our unscripted programming, as well as on our Network.”
The commitments build on similar targets CBS unveiled in July for scripted programming. That month, CBS entered a multi-year partnership with the NAACP to establish a production venture that develops and produces programming for the broadcast, cable and streaming markets.
CBS Studios has also entered into a multi-year partnership with the NAACP to establish a production venture that develops and produces programming for the broadcast, cable and streaming markets.
Former Will Packer Media executive Sheila Ducksworth was named president of the partnership in October.
Last December, it was announced that all CBS reality shows will provide sensitivity/bias and anti-harassment training for both cast and crew before the start of production. All productions will have an on-site professional to provide a confidential means of reporting concerns.