[Clockwise from top left: Earl Cole, Jolanda Jones, Sean Rector, Vecepia Towery | Screenshots: “Survivor” via CBS All Access]
According to Variety.com, CBS announced today it aims to be more inclusive with the casts of its unscripted shows by setting a target to make all such on-camera participants at least 50% Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
The network’s goal is to make the change beginning with the 2021-2022 broadcast season. CBS also has stated it will allocate at least a quarter of its annual unscripted development budget to projects created or co-created by BIPOC producers in that same time frame.
CBS also plans to develop more initiatives with its production partners to increase diversity across the board in the unscripted space, though those specific plans have not yet been detailed.
In recent months, former Black cast members of Survivor have spoken out and petitioned not only on the need for more diversity in unscripted casts, but also about being marginalized during the audition and editing processes.
“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 CEO of 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.”