CBS has heard the calls for more diversity on its hit reality shows … and it’s making a pledge to make it happen.
The network says its unscripted shows — including the uber-popular “Survivor,” “Big Brother” and “Love Island” — will have casts at least 50 percent Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) beginning with the 2021-22 season.
In addition, CBS vows to commit at least 25 percent of its annual unscripted development budget to projects created or co-created by minorities … and set a target of 40 percent BIPOC representation in the writers’ rooms next year too.
CBS Entertainment Group President & CEO George Cheeks says … “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.”
Cheeks says the network’s diversity pledge is just the first step in discovering new voices for content, and it goes hand-in-hand with a production partnership with the NAACP as well.
As you may know … CBS has come under fire for racial controversies on its reality programs in recent years, especially with “Big Brother.” Houseguests were slammed for making a racially-charged joke about a fellow Asian houseguest in July 2019, and there was an n-word controversy the year before.
Likewise, “Survivor” has taken heat for many years for a lack of diversity among its casts … and alleged favoritism of white players over minority players.
CBS says its sights are set on changing all of that.