The ABC has released Diversity and Inclusion Commissioning Guidelines to ensure more faces, voices, and cultures are represented both in content and behind the camera.
They span gender diversity, Indigenous Australians, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, people living with a disability and the LGBTQI+ community.
Content commissioned externally across genres such as drama, comedy, children’s, factual and entertainment programs, will all need to meet revised expectations. Producers will need to demonstrate how their content reflects authentic diversity and inclusion in its subject matter or cast, as well as diversity in key creative, production and crew roles. The guidelines also set out a framework for creating practical and meaningful opportunities for under-represented groups to advance their careers.
Building on the principle of “nothing about us without us” it notes that all productions about a specific diverse community or subject must include at least one person who is representative of that diversity within the core creative team.
ABC says the guidelines build on the ABC’s commitment under its Charter to reflect the cultural diversity of the Australian community, as exemplified by programs such as Total Control, Love on the Spectrum and First Day.
Michael Carrington, ABC Director Entertainment & Specialist, said: “Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of everything we do at the ABC. As a public broadcaster, we must reflect the audience we are serving and a broad range of perspectives, people and stories makes us stronger, more creative and better able to engage with and reflect the Australian community.
“While we already prioritise diversity and inclusion at the ABC, this is the first time we have prescribed guidelines to track progress towards our goal of looking and sounding like contemporary Australia. We’ve already taken steps in this direction but we need to do more to better reflect the wonderful diversity of this nation in an authentic way.
“The ABC’s new guidelines, alongside industry-wide initiatives through screen agencies and the Screen Diversity Inclusion Network, will help bring new voices, cultures and perspectives to audiences. We will work with our production partners to make the industry a more inclusive workspace, by opening the doors to diverse creative talent, on and off screen.”
Excerpts from Diversity and Inclusion Commissioning Guidelines:
The Guidelines cover:
How your content proposal reflects diversity and inclusion in its subject matter, or in talent and cast.
How your key creative team and production teams and crew reflect diversity and inclusion.
What measures you are taking to encourage and support under-represented groups in the media industry.
1. Gender Representation Female, male or gender diverse.
2. Indigenous Australian Indigenous Australian includes people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent.
3. Culturally and linguistically diverse People who are not Anglo-Celtic by descent and/ or English is not their main spoken language.
4. Living with disability People living with an intellectual, psychiatric, cognitive, neurological, sensory or physical impairment or a combination of those impairments.
5. LGBTQI+ People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, people with intersex variations plus other diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.
We recognise there are several content types that may have different considerations.
1. Scripted Scripted drama, comedy and animation.
2. Non-Scripted Documentary, factual entertainment, non-scripted factual.
3. Studio/Hosted Studio based entertainment, quiz, panel and interview shows, music, sport and event hosted shows.
What you need to do:
The Guidelines set out the framework for demonstrating representation of diversity on screen and off screen.
You will need to demonstrate:
1. Diversity on screen – how your content meets at least one of the on screen options (what the program is about AND/OR who is onscreen);
2. Diversity off screen – diversity in key creative, production and crew roles; and
3. Career Progression – How you will create practical opportunities for under-represented groups via attachments and other initiatives. We have been collecting portrayal data for several years but this is the first time we have prescribed Guidelines, to track progress towards our goal of reflecting the Australian population in our content and teams.