BBC Studios is adding an inclusion rider underlining its commitment to representation across all new BBC and third-party U.K. commissions.
Effective immediately, the rider sets a minimum target of 20% for BBC Studios’ on-screen talent and production teams who come from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background, have a lived experience of a disability, or come from a low-income background. 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 apply to the business’s scripted and unscripted teams across drama, comedy and factual, including the natural history unit, factual entertainment and entertainment. The initiative is spearheaded by director of content Ralph Lee.
In addition, BBC Studios is funding a new year-long Trainee Assistant Producer Program to develop the next generation of content-makers; launching a mentoring program with ScreenSkills aimed at under-represented talent at assistant producer or script editor level or above; and creating 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.
Lee said: “As the U.K.’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. 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.”
LGBTQ+ talent also form part of the on-screen inclusion rider commitment, but this excludes off-screen teams as BBC Studios Production has already exceeded this target.
BBC Studios is developing a Diversity & Inclusion Plan to lay out how it will continue to build a more inclusive workplace, to be launched globally in January 2021.
Shows produced by BBC Studios include “Strictly Come Dancing,” (pictured) “Top Gear” and “Doctor Who.”