CBS Commits To 50 Percent BIPOC Casts Across Reality Series

Plus, 25 percent of the annual unscripted development budget will be committed to projects from BIPOC creators/producers.
Posted on Nov 9, 2020 | 11:30am
CBS announced today a target for all future unscripted programs to have casts with at least 50 percent of the contestants being Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), beginning in the 2021-2022 broadcast season. 

Plus, CBS will also allocate at least a quarter of its annual unscripted development budget to projects created or co-created by BIPOC producers, also starting in the 2021-2022 season.

In addition, CBS will develop future initiatives with its production partners to expand diversity in all of the creative and production teams involved in making an unscripted series.

"The reality TV genre is an area that's especially underrepresented, and needs to be more inclusive across development, casting, production and all phases of storytelling," said George Cheeks, President and Chief Executive Officer for the CBS Entertainment Group. "As we strive to improve all of these creative aspects, the commitments announced today are important first steps in sourcing new voices to create content and further expanding the diversity in our unscripted programming, as well as on our Network."

The initiatives announced today build on the targets and commitments CBS unveiled in July for scripted programming. The Network announced it will allocate a minimum of 25 percent of its future script development budgets to projects created or co-created by BIPOC.

CBS also set a target for its writers' rooms to be staffed with a minimum of 40 percent BIPOC representation beginning with the 2021-2022 broadcast television season, and a goal to increase that number to 50 percent the following season (2022-2023).

CBS Studios has also entered into a multi-year partnership with the NAACP to establish a production venture that develops and produces programming for the broadcast, cable, and streaming markets. Also, CBS Studios recently signed an exclusive agreement with 21CP Solutions, a group specializing in police reform efforts in the U.S., to advise on its police and legal dramas.

Last December, it was announced that all CBS reality shows will provide sensitivity/bias and anti-harassment training for both cast and crew before the start of production. All productions will have an on-site professional to provide a confidential means of reporting concerns.