BBC diversity lead Miranda Wayland is set to join Prime Video/Amazon Studios Europe, Variety can confirm.
Wayland was previously deputy head of diversity at the BBC. She had been at the broadcaster for five years but reportedly announced her resignation last week.
She will join Amazon later this year where she will take up the position of head of Europe’s diversity, equity and inclusion for Amazon Studios and Prime Video. Her remit will include both off-screen and on-screen representation.
Wayland will work closely with European originals, business affairs, public policy, marketing and other departments with the intention of increasing diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the business via programmes and other initiatives.
Wayland will report to Latasha Gillespie, Amazon Studios’ global head of diversity, equity and inclusion at Amazon Studios. Gillespie is based in Los Angeles.
Before her role at the BBC, Wayland worked at ITV for a decade, where she held the title of diversity manager.
In an address during Mip TV last year, Wayland pointed to “Luther” as an example of a show lacking in authenticity despite casting Idris Elba in the lead. “When it first came out, everyone loved that Idris Elba was in there – a really strong black character lead,” Wayland reportedly said. “But after you got into the second series you thought: well, he doesn’t have any black friends, he doesn’t eat any Caribbean food. This doesn’t feel authentic.
“It’s great having big landmark shows with key characters, but it’s about making sure everything around them – their environment, culture, the set – is absolutely reflective. Our commissioners continue to have those dialogues about how to get authenticity of character correct.”
BBC chief content officer Charlotte Moore said: “Miranda has been instrumental in improving diversity and inclusion within the BBC and the wider industry. I thank her for all her hard work, the support she has given our content commissioning teams and for everything she has done to launch and support the BBC’s £112 million ($147 million) diversity fund. She will be hugely missed.”
BBC Director of Creative Diversity June Sarpong added: “The BBC has always been a nurturer and developer of world class talent and Miranda Wayland’s incredible trajectory here is no exception to this. Over the past few years it has been such a pleasure to see Miranda grow to become one of the leading D&I practitioners in the British creative industry. Her work as Head of Creative Diversity has really helped to drive increased diverse representation both on and off screen as well as better serve diverse audiences, her dynamism and enthusiasm will be sincerely missed.”