The BBC announced today that it plans to invest £100m of its TV budget into producing ‘diverse and inclusive content’ across all genres over a three-year period.
This will apply from April 2021, with the BBC setting itself a target of 20 percent of off-screen talent coming from underrepresented groups.
Programmes will need to meet three ‘tests’ for diversity; diverse stories and portrayal on-screen, diverse production teams and talent and diverse-led production companies.
This announcement comes on the 72nd anniversary of the day the Empire Windrush arrived at the port of Tilbury, and also follows the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests that have been taking place since the death of George Floyd in the US.
The BBC’s Director General, Tony Hall, commented: “The senseless killing of George Floyd – and what it tells us about the stain of systemic racism – has had a profound impact on all of us. It’s made us question ourselves about what more we can do to help tackle racism – and drive inclusion within our organisation and in society as a whole.
“This is our response – it’s going to drive change in what we make and who makes it. It’s a big leap forward – and we’ll have more to announce in the coming weeks.”
June Sarpong, who joined the BBC as Director of Creative Diversity last year, said: “I came to the BBC as an outsider. Before joining I had an idea of this being an organisation that did not want to change. What I found was something different: an organisation that had ambitious goals for diversity and inclusion but didn’t know how to reach them.
“I’m pleased that we’re announcing this fund as the first of a series of bold steps that will help make the BBC an instrument of real change.”