BBC Reveals $53M Spend On Diverse Shows As It Updates For First Time On Commitments Made In Wake Of Black Lives Matter Protests

The BBC spent £44M ($53M) on 67 diverse TV shows last year, setting the corporation on track to hit its £100M ($121M) target by 2023/24.

The figures were unveiled in the BBC’s first ever Diversity Commissioning Code of Practice Progress Report, coming two years after it forged the fund in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests for diverse stories and shows, committing to a further £12M ($14.5M) for a similar radio pot soon after.

To qualify for the fund, shows have to meet two of three criteria: “Diverse stories and portrayal on screen,” “Diverse production leadership” or “Diverse company leadership.” In the case of the fund, diversity refers to ethnic diversity, disability and people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

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According to the report, the BBC spent £44M on shows that were able to prove they had met two of these, accounting for 67 shows. Of those 67, the vast majority (65) met the first criteria, 25 met the second and 49 the third.

Shows such as BBC Three’s Tonight with Target, disability drama Then Barbara met Alan and format Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star were flagged as diversity success stories.

The BBC’s diversity radio fund spent a further £4M ($4.9M) on 90 shows and its Diverse Talent Development Fund invested £2M ($2.4M) to support 146 programs.

“The BBC is for everyone and audiences from all backgrounds rightly expect to see themselves represented in our programmes,” said outgoing BBC Director of Creative Diversity June Sarpong. “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.”

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