CBS promises more diversity for future reality TV castings


On November 9, 2020, CBS announced its new initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in its unscripted shows such as Survivor, Big Brother, Island of love, and more. From the 2021-2022 televised season and beyond, all cast will have at least 50% Black, Indigenous, and Color (BIPOC) applicants. In addition to its castings, CBS will devote at least 25% of its annual unscripted development budget to projects created or co-created by minorities and will set a target of 40% representation of BIPOC in writers’ rooms.

“The reality TV genre is a particularly under-represented area and needs to be more inclusive in development, casting, production and all phases of storytelling,” said George Cheeks, President and CEO of CBS, in a statement. “As we strive to improve all of these creative aspects, the commitments announced today are important first steps in finding new voices to create content and further expand the diversity of our unscripted programming, as well as our network.

The announcement follows a slew of race-related controversies and allegations, as well as criticism of previous CBS castings. More recently during Season 21 of Big Brother Last year, several guests were accused of making racist remarks and showing unconscious bias by systematically targeting people of color. Survivor has also been criticized for its lack of diversity, which inspired the Survivor Diversity Campaign and the Survivor alum collective. The organization of soul survivors. Members of the Soul Survivors organizing committee include J’Tia Hart, Jamal Shipman, Julia Carter and Brice Johnston, with the added support of alumni such as Wendell Holland, Russell Swan, Ramona Gray Amaro and many more. ‘others. The collective came together to focus on ‘improving the diversity, equity and inclusion of survivors’ and previously created a petition for anti-racist action.

While the production of shows such as Survivor and Fantastic race may not return in 2021 due to travel restrictions and health concerns related to COVID-19, other reality shows may have functioned successfully during the pandemic. Big Brother and Island of love started filming over the summer and finished production last fall without any health issues or cases.


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