ITV has forged an £80M ($105M) Diversity Commissioning Fund to be spent over the next three years on shows produced by or related to Black, Asian and minority ethnic people or disabled people.
Shows will qualify for the fund if they are either produced by an indie led by a Black, Asian or minority ethnic person or disabled person, or meet two of the following: diverse creative leadership (at least two individuals in senior creative decision-making roles off-screen involved in shaping and making the programme must be Black, Asian or minority ethnic and/or disabled), diverse stories and portrayal on-screen, or diverse salary spend (at least 20% of total salary spend off-screen on the production must be on Black, Asian or minority ethnic and/or disabled creatives).
Around £20M ($26.4M) will be ring-fenced for shows made by Black, Asian and minority ethnic-led and disabled-led production companies, and £500,000 ($660,000) will be spent on a development fund for ideas that qualify.
ITV Group Diversity and Inclusion Director Ade Rawcliffe said: “ITV is committed to creating content by, with, and for everyone, connecting and reflecting modern audiences. We want more people of colour and disabled people to be able to tell their stories and get opportunities in senior production roles. With this reserve fund, we’re working to speed up progress in a sustainable way, and play our part to change the structure of the industry.”
The BBC and Channel 4 have similar funds, which came in response to the Black Lives Matter protests in summer 2020, while Channel 5-owner Paramount operates with a “no diversity, no commission” policy.
The news comes following last week’s Diamond diversity report, which showed progress is still required to improve representation in the UK TV industry, with disability representation in senior roles having gone backwards over the past five years and representation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people in the upper echelons still behind national average.
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