CBS Plans to Increase Diversity of Writers, Staffers for 2021 and Beyond

CBS announced a goal to have 25% of its script development budget go to projects from writers and producers who are Black, Indigenous and nonwhite for the 2021/2022 development season, according to a news release.

CBS shows also must have a minimum of 40% overall diverse employee representation for the 2021/22 broadcast season, which will increase to 50% for the 2022/23 season. At least six shows are set to meet this 40% threshold. 

Though the company has not yet specified how many writers or which shows, it will have “additional” nonwhite writers on certain series for 2020/2021, according to the release.

Related Article: Fair360, formerly DiversityInc’s 2020 Top 50 Companies for Diversity 

CBS is one of the first broadcast networks to announce set goals in an industry that has been historically white with little nonwhite representation.

“While steady progress has been made in recent years both in front of and behind the camera, change needs to happen faster, especially with creators and leadership roles on the shows,” George Cheeks, President and Chief Executive Officer for the CBS Entertainment Group, said in the press release. “As a network with ambitions to be a unifier and an agent of change at this important time, these new initiatives will help accelerate efforts to broaden our storytelling and make CBS programming even more diverse and inclusive.”

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