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BBC to consider LGBT and racial diversity record of producers when commissioning TV shows

2016-10-17
Following new guidelines laid out by the BBC, the corporation has set out to showcase LGBT diversity in its programmes and production. The proposals aim to not only improve LGBT diversity both on screen and behind the camera, but also those of ethnic minorities as well as the disabled. Under the new guidelines, the BBC will factor in the diversity record and policies of independent TV producers when deciding whether to commission their work. While no specific penalties are outlined, the BBC has said it will work closely with producers to ensure standards are being met, reports the Guardian. In a message to producers outlined in the new guidelines, the BBC says: “The positive steps you plan to take to address under-representation will be factored into commissioning discussions ahead of productions being green-lit.” This is not the first step the corporation has taken in order to fully represent the nation it serves. Back in April, the BBC pledged to ensuring that 8% of their staff are those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Additionally, making sure that half of its roles are occupied by women, 15% from BAME backgrounds and 8% disabled. Outside production teams have also been asked to stop offering unpaid internships and offer paid training to a wider diversity of people from different backgrounds. Sharon White, who is to take on regulatory responsibility for the BBC next year, told the Financial Times that “I would expect the BBC to be more distinctive, to have high-quality programming and to be investing in great drama, great news production and stories that really reflect the country with all its diverse makeup.” More stories: Little Mix include nod to same-sex relationships in ‘Shout Out to My Ex’ X Factor performance Simon Cowell makes gay joke about Rylan live on The X Factor