CBS, Fox to reveal NAACP initiatives

Pacts ensure more opportunities for people of color

NEW YORK — CBS and Fox are expected to announce this week that they have come to separate agreements with the NAACP that will increase opportunities for qualified people of color in the network television industry.

On Friday, as expected, ABC and the NAACP announced a diversity initiative that was much like the agreement NBC signed with the NAACP on Wednesday. ABC Television Network president Patricia Fili-Krushel said the agreement — which calls for the establishment of a formal mentorship program, mandatory diversity training, and grants for minority students — will cost the net “millions of dollars.”

NAACP president and CEO Kweisi Mfume praised the agreement with ABC, saying “it makes it clear that giving increased opportunities for people of color is a priority at ABC.”

Unlike the NBC plan, ABC’s diversity agreement does not include hiring quotas for series writing-staff positions. But it does outline a number of new and ongoing executive outreach, production, programming and advertising initiatives.

Until recently, the NAACP and Mfume had threatened a network boycott — first during November sweeps, and when that deadline passed, during February. But, Friday’s agreement obviously preempts any boycott against the Alphabet net.

When asked whether the NAACP would expect ABC to ensure that minority characters would be presented only in a favorable light, Mfume said “the creative process has to be allowed to be creative. I don’t see the NAACP nit-picking about every character portrayal.”

CBS and Fox declined comment.

(Michael Schneider contributed to this story.)

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