Joining the ranks of studios and entertainment institutions pushing diversity quotas, BBC Studios Productions has announced that 20% of all projects’ on-screen and production talent must be of a designated minority.
On Monday, the studio announced the new measures, billing it as “four significant steps to improve diversity and inclusion across its content and teams.” The first initiative requires an “Inclusion Rider,” a term coined by Dr. Stacy Smith in a 2014 op-ed in The Hollywood Reporter.
“An ‘Inclusion Rider’ stating BBC Studios Production’s commitment to a minimum target of 20% of its on-screen talent and production teams on all new BBC and third-party UK commissions coming from a Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) background, having a lived experience of a disability, or being from a low-income background,” said the BBC. “There will also be an additional commitment to a target of at least one senior role on scripted and unscripted production teams being appointed from one of these backgrounds.”
The “Inclusion Rider” will be effective immediately and “will apply to every new commission from the business’s scripted and unscripted teams across Drama, Comedy, Factual, including the Natural History Unit, Factual Entertainment and Entertainment.”
For the second initiative, the BBC said it would be “funding a new year-long Trainee Assistant Producer Programme (TAPP) to develop the next generation of content-makers.”
“A mentoring programme with ScreenSkills aimed at under-represented talent at Assistant Producer or Script Editor level or above,” said the third inititative.
“Creation of a short film for schools covering all the behind the camera roles in drama, entertainment and factual to inspire them to pursue a career in the TV industry,” said the fourth inititatve.
Ralph Lee, BBC Studios’ Director of Content, said the new initiatives will level the playing field for people looking to thrive in the entertainment industry.
“As the UK’s biggest producer of content, my ambition has always been that BBC Studios Production leads the way in levelling the playing field for anyone wanting to join and thrive in our industry,” he said. “These initiatives are by no means a magic bullet and we’re also doing a lot of work on culture and education to make our teams more inclusive. The talent in front of and behind the camera will give perspectives that will shape our content, making it more authentic and universal in its depiction of our audiences – and ultimately its appeal with them.”
In September, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) released new guidelines for inclusion, which dictated that movies must meet a diversity threshold, employing specific minority individuals in front of or behind the camera to qualify for Best Picture.
As The Los Angeles Times reported:
Those standards require one of the following: at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group; at least 30% of all actors in secondary and more minor roles are from certain underrepresented groups; or the main storyline, theme or narrative is centered on an underrepresented group.
To be eligible for best picture, a film must meet at least two standards across four categories: “Onscreen Representation, Themes and Narratives,” “Creative Leadership and Project Team,” “Industry Access and Opportunities” and “Audience Development.” Within each category are a variety of criteria …