Broadcasters should ‘follow BBC’s lead’ on diversity

The WGGB is urging broadcasters to follow the BBC, which has pledged £100 million over the next three years to improve diversity in TV.

The cash injection will support diversity and inclusion across all genres of TV, including children’s, education and current affairs.

The corporation has set itself the target of achieving 20% of off-screen talent from under-represented groups. That includes those with a disability or from a BAME or disadvantaged socio-economic background. And, in future, all TV programmes will have to meet two out of three “tests” for diversity – diverse stories and portrayal on-screen, diverse production teams, and talent and diverse-led production companies.

Sumerah Srivastava, Co-Chair of the WGGB Equality and Diversity Committee, welcomed the BBC’s pledge, saying: “Unless writers from diverse communities are given the opportunity to produce content, nothing will change. We look forward to hearing what further steps the BBC has planned and how it will engage diverse writing talent.

“However, the BBC should not, and cannot, be solely responsible for creating a more diverse industry. We call on all broadcasters and producers to follow the BBC’s lead and take active steps to increase the diversity of their workforce – and in particular the commissioning of diverse writers. Covid-19 presents a chance for us to reimagine how our industry works and make it more inclusive.”

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