The BBC has invested a total of £128.5m into TV & Radio content in the first two years of its Creative Diversity Commitment – exceeding the original, three-year commitment of £112m into on-screen and on-air diversity and inclusion a year early.
The three year commitment, from 2021/22 – 2023/24, to invest a minimum of £112m, £100m for TV and £12m for radio, has focused efforts to ensure diversity is integrated into the way the BBC commissions programmes across all genres, both on and off screen and air. Shows with diverse casts and crews commissioned since the commitment’s launch include drama My Name Is Leon, comedy Avoidance and CBeebies’ Ranger Hamza’s Eco Quest as well as Lenny’s One Love, Una Marson: Caribbean Voices, BBC Scotland’s The Wedding and the Women’s Euros.
In the second year of the commitment, the BBC invested £61m in supporting a total of 118 TV programmes. This follows an updated £59m investment in the first year across 92 programmes. In addition, £8.5m has been invested in supporting nearly 290 diverse radio commissions over the past two years.
The BBC is committed to going further in 2023/24, with programmes qualifying for the financial investment if they meet at least two of the following three criteria:
- Diverse stories and portrayals
- Diverse production leadership
- Diverse company leadership
The criteria are discussed at the point of the programme’s commission and then measured at transmission, ensuring the BBC is looking for, developing and choosing programmes that represent all audiences across the UK and accelerate the pace of change in increasing diversity and inclusion across the industry.
Chinny Okolidoh, BBC director of diversity & inclusion, said: “I’m really proud of the progress we’ve made through our Creative Diversity commitment which is making a real difference in improving diversity off-screen and ensuring what audiences experience on-screen and on-air is more diverse, inclusive and authentic.
“There is still more to do across the whole industry and we’re working with other broadcasters and streamers to make a positive difference. We’ve always said the £112m investment was a starting point. Diversity and inclusion is an absolute priority for the BBC and we’re fully committed to reflecting our audiences and improving representation, inclusion and accessibility even further across our content.”