British pubcaster Channel 4 has appointed Ally Castle to the newly created role of creative diversity and disability lead.
In the post, Castle (pictured) will be responsible for delivering the network’s disability-focused strategic plans as part of C4′s expanded Creative Diversity team.
She will also be tasked with working closely alongside indie producers and the channel’s commissioning teams to “increase disability representation both on- and off-screen, as well as ensuring the quality of authentic portrayal.”
In addition, Castle will support the network’s delivery of the Tokyo 2021 Paralympic Games and help to deliver an on- and off-screen vision for Paris 2024. She will also work to ensure the progression of disabled talent working across the Paralympics and related programming.
Castle will report into Babita Bahal, head of Creative Diversity, when she joins Channel 4 in March on an initial 12-month contract.
Previously, Castle served as an independent disability consultant and creative strategist, with a clientele list that included the likes of Sony Pictures Television, ITV, Nickelodeon, BBC Studios, A&E Networks, ScreenSkills, BBC and Disney.
“We need more targeted collaboration at every level to achieve greater inclusion of disabled people on and off screen. We want to see more disabled talent working and progressing in TV and to ensure portrayals are effortlessly and consistently authentic and challenge perceptions,” said Bahal in a statement. “Ally brings a unique breadth of skills and experience as a former program-maker, creative strategist and disability consultant working across the industry and we are thrilled she is joining us at such a crucial and exciting time.”
Added Castle: “Our industry is at a turning point when it comes to the fair portrayal of all typically under or misrepresented groups, as well as the genuine inclusion of disabled talent across our productions. I look forward to working both on- and off-screen at Channel 4 to continue to move far beyond stereotypes, tropes and assumptions to ensure disabled people tell their own powerful, nuanced stories and audiences connect with a wide range of authentic disabled experiences.”
Last year, Channel 4 set out a number of commitments to improving disability, including the commitment to double its workforce disability target from 6% to 12% by 2023, as well as achieving 9% representation off-screen in accordance to the CDN’s Doubling Disability plan.
Meanwhile, the network has committed to reach 9% representation by 2023 while also monitoring disabled representation in its top 100 programs.