The BBC is on track to spend £100 million ($121 million) on diverse and inclusive TV content by 2023/2024, a target it set for itself in 2020 in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd.
In the first progress update on the network’s Creative Diversity Commitment, the BBC said it had invested £44 million ($53 million) on 67 diverse TV programs since 2021. These shows — including Tonight With Target, Then Barbara Met Alan, Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star and Dreaming Whilst Black — were made by 48 different independent production companies, the BBC said, 73 percent of which had diverse leaderships and 10 percent had never been commissioned by the BBC before.
A total of £4 million ($4.8 million) had also been invested in supporting 90 diverse radio commissions, with the BBC confirming that this means it was “on track” to investing the full £112 million ($135 million) targeted.
“The BBC is for everyone and audiences from all backgrounds rightly expect to see themselves represented in our programs,” said June Sarpong, BBC director of creative diversity. “That’s why we are leading the way by making the biggest financial investment to on-air inclusion in the industry. I’m delighted by the progress we’ve made in the first year which is an important milestone and provides a solid foundation for us to go even further to ensure the BBC truly reflects the public we serve.”
At the time of the diversity investment pledge in 2020, then BBC director general Tony Hall said that that the murder of Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement it sparked around the world had made the network “question ourselves about what more we can do to help tackle racism – and drive inclusion within our organization and in society as a whole.”