News 22 June 2020

BBC To Commit £100m To Increasing Diversity On TV

22 June 2020

The BBC has announced plans to invest £100 million over a three-year period to produce “diverse and inclusive content” on the small screen.

The commitment is the biggest financial investment to on-air inclusion in the industry and will begin in from 2021/22 to 2023/24. The move will be supported by a new mandatory 20% diverse-talent target in all new network commissions from April 2021.

Output from the BBC will undergo three tests – diverse stories and portrayal on-screen, diverse production teams and talent and diverse-led production companies –  and programmes will need to qualify for at least two of them.

Director general Lord Tony Hall said: “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.

“It’s made us question ourselves about what more we can do to help tackle racism – and drive inclusion within our organisation and in society as a whole.

“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.”

June Sarpong –  the BBC’s director of creative diversity – has also reacted to the BBC’s latest commitment to diversity, saying: “I came to the BBC as an outsider. Before joining I had an idea of this being an organisation that did not want to change. What I found was something different: an organisation that had ambitious goals for diversity and inclusion but didn’t know how to reach them.”

She added: “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.”