It’s no secret that the Black Lives Matter movement has altered the world of reality television. Whether they’ve stated it’s in response to the movement or not, Bravo has been casting shows including more women of color lately. Eboni K. Williams and Leva Bonaparte come to mind. While Leva says she doesn’t believe in race, Eboni reports that the RHONY crew will be discussing race point blank. Even some diversity of thought!
Bravo has also had to face several accusations of casting racist reality stars over the years. I can’t think of a single Housewives franchise that hasn’t been under fire for racism at some point. And they’re not alone. CBS has come under fire too. Remember Big Brother’s season 21 winner, Jackson Michie? For those who missed it, he was announced as the winner and then immediately grilled on all his racist decision making during the season. On Live TV. What a treat.
According to TMZ, CBS is formally calling for more diversity for it’s hit reality shows. They’ve made a public pledge to make it happen for their unscripted shows. This includes Survivor, Big Brother, and Love Island. These are some BIG shows, you guys, and they hold a ton of airtime.CBS is vowing to cast at least 50% Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) as soon as the 2021-2022 seasons.More than that, CBS has committed to using at least 25% of their unscripted development budget for projects that have been either created or co-created by minorities. They report an additional target of having 40% BIPOC at the table in their writers room next year too.
The President and CEO of CBS, George Cheeks, announced, “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.” He says that the diversity pledge is only the first step. In partnership with the NAACP he hopes to discover new voices for new content.I think we will all be wishing them luck with that. CBS reports that their goal is to change their former reputation of having mainly white casts and favoritism of white players. Let’s hope they’re the first of many networks to make this call.
TELL US – WHICH CBS REALITY SHOW DO YOU LOVE THE MOST? DO YOU THINK OTHER NETWORKS WILL STEP UP AND JOIN CBS? [Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images]