CBS Sets Diversity Targets For Reality Casts; 50% Of Talent Must Be BIPOC & Commits 25% Of Unscripted Development Budget To BIPOC Creatives

CBS’ slate of reality shows is set to become more diverse after the network introduced a series of representation targets.

The network has introduced an edict that 50% of its casts for its unscripted shows must be Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC) and it has committed that at least 25% of its annual unscripted development budget must go towards creators and producers that are BIPOC.

This follows hard targets introduced for its scripted programs earlier this summer and a deal to create programming with the NAACP.

The unscripted targets, similar to its scripted quotas, will kick in for the 2021-22 broadcast season. The network added that it 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.

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

This comes after CBS had previously faced criticism for mismanaging inclusivity on reality shows such as Big Brother and Survivor.

“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.”

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