Channel 4 to commission black British filmmakers to respond to killing of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter movement

The broadcaster is aiming to produce more diverse content in the wake of recent #BlackLivesMatter protests.

Black Lives Matter protest

Channel 4 has announced its plans for a series of original films in response to the killing of George Floyd and the impact that recent protests in the US and across the world have had on black Britons.

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The films, both short and longer form, will be made by black British filmmakers, the broadcaster said in a statement.

The shorter films promise to “explore and debate the arguments and questions about our society that have long been felt but have been given new urgency by the death of George Floyd and the protests that have swept the United States”.

Meanwhile the longer films will explore race and the black experience in Britain today.

Ian Katz, Director of Programmes at Channel 4, said that Channel 4 was “committed” to “representing Britain in all its diversity, and to promoting a more tolerant and equal society,” but admitted that all broadcasters still have “much more to do”.

He continued, “The killing of George Floyd and the events of the last week have crystallised into a profound challenge to the way we think about, discuss and act on race issues on both sides of the Atlantic. It is an urgent and potentially transformative debate that we must engage with now, and for the coming months this will be one of our editorial priorities.”

BERLIN, GERMANY - May 30: Street art commemorating George Floyd, killed in police custody in Minneapolis after footage emerged of him pleading for air as a police officer kneeled on his neck, is seen on May 30, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. One of the four officers involved was arrested and charged with murder after three days of protests. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
Berlin street art commemorating George Floyd, killed in police custody in Minneapolis after footage emerged of him pleading for air as a police officer kneeled on his neck. One of the four officers involved was arrested and charged with murder after three days of protests. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

Fatima Salaria, Head of Specialist Factual at Channel 4 said: “This is a great opportunity for black film makers to make their voices heard at a crucial time. I look forward to supporting them and helping them bring their ideas to the screen.”

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The death of Floyd, a black man who died in the US after a police officer kneeled on his neck for eight minutes, has sparked widespread protests across the world.