Panelists at Mipcom Talk Diversity, Inclusion

By | October 20, 2022

“We need to be cheerleaders,” UK TV commissioning editor Sarah Asante said at a panel discussion on diversity and inclusion in the TV industry.

“I’ve always heard the phrase ‘gatekeepers.’ Barriers to entry in this industry is a big issue. Everyone who tries to get in has a story of ‘knowing someone, must be the CEO’s son or manager’s daughter’. This is true, but there are a good number of commissioners on my team who are focused on how to tell the best stories from a large group of people.

“This industry is always saying we need more content, but they’re asking: ‘Oh, where are your credits?’ You never live what you say.”

When talking about putting disability front and center, Asante mentioned “Dave,” about three wheelchair-using leads, and “Dead Canny,” a working-class sitcom about a supernatural girl.

“So what’s amazing is that we have a real class issue in the UK. Accent diversity, range is really what’s lacking on our screens.

The accuracy of the footage is important, but so is making sure the people on board have a stake in the story, she said. Adding that London and the South of the UK are already represented on the programme.

“Usually, production companies put on a big regional show and send a busload of Londoners to do it. It’s outrageous. Please get people from that area.”

Aside from “unicorn” Michael Coyle, there aren’t enough black female voices in comedy, she added.

“Stop being the ‘talker’ of things. Be a ‘doer’ of things. You teach people what you like, what you want and what’s needed on screen,” said Asante, adding that YouTube, a digital space, is a great place to experiment.

Briefing on some recent trends, K7 Media’s David Ciaramella said that diversity and inclusion in entertainment are becoming “increasingly important.” In terms of expanding the pool of people behind and in front of the camera, however, TV shows “clearly challenge” people’s judgments and preconceptions.

Content celebrating LGBTQ+ communities is “abundant,” he said, citing the 50th anniversary of the Pride movement and Channel 4’s “Proud All Over” shows.

Ripples of the Black Lives Matter movement can also be felt, with some new opportunities in the brand-funded space.

“The School That Tried to Stop Racism”, hosted by Mark Fennell, was a hit in Australia, while the BBC’s “Birmingham Backstory” engaged families in a “fun and non-preachy way”.

In the year 2021 has seen a focus on racial diversity, he added, but said that people with disabilities may receive more attention next year.

Shows such as “The World’s Happiest National Team” from Denmark (TV2) could be seen as a sign of change to come, while blind comedian Chris McCausland is set to host a new BBC game show, “What’s in the Box”.

In the scripted space, “Hot Trend” sees broadcasters and streamers taking new approaches to tried-and-tested genres and representing the diversity of their audiences.

Ciaramella said, referring to the upcoming “Confessions of Franny Langton” or “Reginald the Vampire,” “we’ve seen very rich and old classic TV stories, family comedies, detective dramas or period dramas from the perspective of different characters.” ”, as well as “Django” and “Gentlemen Jack” moving into a second season.

Alberto Fernández of Spain’s RTVE referred to the short form “To Be or Not to Be” about a transgender boy.

“This show was important to us because it’s giving people a voice. Not just transgender people, but also their families who feel a little lonely,” he said.

“As public television, we have an obligation to be diverse and inclusive. We are the company for all Spaniards. Also mentioning the need for more regional differences.

“Not enough people think outside the box or outside Madrid and Barcelona,” he added.

France’s Morad Coufane agreed (“We are here to represent the whole nation and all the regions”), praising CEO Delphine Ernotte Cunchin for his commitment to championing women.

“We have decided that 30% of the directors of all fiction films and series will be women, and we have reached the goal.”

Referring to the FT’s plans to tackle disability in sport, he stressed that a commitment to diversity and inclusion at the upcoming Paralympics should feel “natural”.

“We did a press junket for one of our shows and our lead actor was asked to come out to his character. He didn’t say he was gay. For him, it was normal. That’s the kind of moment of diversity and inclusion that we wanted.

Category: tv

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *