LONDON: The BBC announced on Monday it would focus £100 million ($124 million) from its commissioning budget over the next 3 years on “diverse and inclusive content.”
The pledge from the UK public service broadcaster comes amid increased debate about racism and discrimination sparked by protests at the death of George Floyd in the US.
“The £100 million investment will support our commitment to diversity and inclusion in our TV output across all genres, including children’s, education and current affairs,” the BBC said.
It committed to creating content with diverse stories and production teams, while a mandatory target of 20 percent “diverse-talent” will apply to all network commissions from next April.
A BBC spokesman said this target would only apply to crew, not on-screen talent, and look at “black and minority ethnic, disability and socioeconomic diversity.”
The BBC has for years been seeking to better represent minority groups but said the “media industry is not changing fast enough.”
“The senseless killing of George Floyd — and what it tells us about the stain of systemic racism — has had a profound impact on all of us,” said BBC director general Tony Hall.
“It’s made us question ourselves about what more we can do to help tackle racism — and drive inclusion within our organization and in society as a whole.
“This is our response — it’s going to drive change in what we make and who makes it. It’s a big leap forward — and we’ll have more to announce in the coming weeks.”
The BBC is under constant political scrutiny because of the way it is financed, through a levy raised on every household in Britain that watches TV.
It has also faced criticism from both the governing Conservatives and the main opposition Labour party for alleged political bias.