THE SHOW MUST BE DIVERSIFIED!
Hollywood races to combat racism in entertainment
In light of this summer’s reignited Black Lives Matter movement, those in the media and entertainment industries are taking long-overdue steps towards pursuing true diversity and equality. Hollywood’s media titans are now establishing stricter structures to better reflect, protect, and promote people of color within the industry, and we’ve rounded up some of these important inclusivity initiatives (which we’ll be following for accountability) below.
CBS announced that it will require its reality shows to have at least 50% of their casts composed of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). This pledge, planned for implementation in the 2021-2022 broadcast season, will impact some of the network’s popular television programs, such as Survivor and Big Brother, which certainly have room for improvement in this area. As George Cheeks, CBS Entertainment Group’s president and CEO, explained, “The reality TV genre is an area that’s especially underrepresented, and needs to be more inclusive across development, casting, production and all phases of storytelling.” Beyond requiring greater cast diversity, CBS also aims to allocate 25% of its annual unscripted programming budget to projects by BIPOC producers.
ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES
The famous gold man will soon represent many races. Starting in 2024, the Academy Awards will require all films entering the best picture category to meet inclusion standards, both on screen and on set. This means that “at least one of the lead actors or a significant supporting actor must be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.” Films must also meet specific standards in regards to on-screen representation, offscreen creative teams, diversity in marketing, and apprenticeship opportunities. Such guidelines are a great step towards equality in the industry, and can hopefully move the needle on true diversity and inclusion in the movie industry.
Disney is taking inventory of its classic content and wants to strengthen recognition of past wrongs. The company has decided to expand existing offensive content warnings on many of Disney’s classic films to demonstrate visible disapproval of racially-charged stereotypes. The new warning, which precedes movies such as Lady and the Tramp and Dumbo, reads: “This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.” The full warning is pictured above.