BBC makes £100 million commitment to diverse productions and talent

The BBC's Creative Diversity Commitment aims to increase diversity across all genres both on and off screen.

Michaela Coel in I May Destroy You

The BBC has committed £100 million of its existing commissioning budget over three years towards “diverse and inclusive content”.

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The BBC’s Creative Diversity Commitment, which it claims is the “biggest financial investment to on-air inclusion in the industry”, aims to accelerate the pace of change in increasing diversity both in front and behind the camera.

The £100 million investment will go towards achieving three priorities across all genres – diverse stories and portrayal on-screen, diverse production teams and talent, and diverse-led production companies.

Progress made in line with the commitment will be reported on in the BBC’s Annual Report, while new mandatory “diverse-talent targets” of 20 per cent have been introduced for all new commissions from April 2021.

“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,” said BBC Director-General Tony Hall in a statement.

“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,” he added.

June Sarpong, the Director of Creative Diversity also said: “I’m pleased that we’re announcing this fund as the first of a series of bold steps that will help make the BBC an instrument of real change.”

“As a black woman, I feel and share in the pain that so many are feeling worldwide. It makes it all the more important that we show up now not just with words but with meaningful action,” she concluded.

Other commitments made by the Creative Diversity investment include regular meet-and-greets across the country to enable talent from traditionally under-represented groups, the development of a diverse digital database for the industry and investment in developing diverse leaders at the BBC.

The BBC’s investment follows numerous Black Lives Matter protests which have occurred across the world since the killing of African American George Floyd at the hands of US police in May.

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