The ABC has outlined a new strategy to ensure diversity and inclusion across its programming, putting in place prescribed commissioning guidelines.
The guidelines focus on five key areas – gender representation, Indigenous Australians, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD), living with a disability, and LGBTQI+ – and cover on-screen, off-screen, and career progression.
Speaking to IF last week, ABC director entertainment and specialist Michael Carrington said audiences were interested in the “diversity of who we are”.
“It’s a mood you can feel everywhere,” he said.
“Bringing diverse stories to life is something we are focusing on, in terms of developing new shows.
“We had a lot of success with Total Control, which really resonated with audiences -both on linear television, as well as on our digital platform ABC iview.”
Under the guidelines, producers will need to demonstrate how their content reflects authentic diversity and inclusion in its subject matter or cast, with productions about a specific diverse community or subject required to include at least one person who is representative of that diversity within the core creative team.
In scripted content, the ABC specifies at least one main cast member should be an Indigenous Australian, culturally and linguistically diverse, a person with disability or someone who identifies as LGBTQI+.
The presence of under-represented groups extends to senior production and key creative decision-making roles, including EP, series producer, producer, director, writer, lead DOP, lead editor, as well as production and crew positions.
Further 50 per cent of a production’s main cast and 50 per cent of the crew must be women or gender diverse.
In outlining the future career progression opportunities for diverse groups, the ABC says it “expects production companies to identify genuine career development opportunities for individuals from under-represented communities via existing attachment schemes, industry incentives or other innovative measures”.
The guidelines form part of the ABC’s Five-Year Plan 2020-25, while also aligning with its Elevate Reconciliation Plan 2019-22 and Diversity & Inclusion Plan 2019-22.
Click here to view the guidelines.