Leading Canadian broadcasters Bell Media, Corus Entertainment and Rogers Sports & Media have enforced the use of a new HireBIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) roster in securing a greenlight for original productions.
HireBIPOC is the definitive industry-wide roster of Canadian BIPOC creatives and crew working in screen-based industries. Launched this week, the initiative is a collaboration between more than 20 Canadian media organizations, with over 500 members already registered. The roster works closely with BIPOC TV & Film, a grassroots organization and collective of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour in Canada’s TV and film industry.
“Creating real, systemic change to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Canadian media industry is a long-term commitment, and a top priority for Bell Media,” said Randy Lennox, president of Bell Media. “We’re proud to make use of HireBIPOC among our production partners a condition of greenlight for Bell Media original productions. It is our ardent hope that HireBIPOC is a game-changer for Canadian content in seeing more Black, Indigenous, and People of Color on screens across the country.”
CBC/Radio-Canada is also urging all producers to use resources such as HireBIPOC and similar industry sites that are dedicated to amplifying BIPOC talent.
“If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that now is the time for brave steps towards radical change,” said Nathalie Younglai, founder of BIPOC TV & FILM. “HireBIPOC is one step among many in order to transform the face of our industry. We need measurable commitments to hiring more Black, Indigenous and People of Color. We all have a circle of influence and it is up to each one of us to use it.”
Industry and community partners of HireBIPOC include Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, Banff World Media Festival, Canadian Film Centre, Canada Media Fund, Canadian Media Producers Association, CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals, City of Toronto, Content Canada, Focus Media Arts Centre, Hot Docs, ImagineNative, Indigenous Filmmakers Association, Inside Out, National Screen Institute, Ontario Creates, Playback, Pride Toronto, Reel Asian International Film Festival, Racial Equity Media Collective, Remix Project and Touchwood PR.