ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) is rolling out a company-wide “No Diversity, No Commission” production policy to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. All new international productions will need to be made by a diverse team.
This policy was originally announced in the UK in July, but it will now apply to VCNI’s business across five continents and more than 180 countries.
The policy requires that production companies adhere to diversity guidelines before budgets are signed off and productions are approved to begin. According to the policy, when budgets are agreed to, the commissioner or project lead will check for appropriate diversity and then recommend improvements as needed. The intent is to increase representation behind the camera to ensure that a variety of balanced, diverse voices are involved in all aspects of production, according to a ViacomCBS press release.
In addition, VCNI has rolled out new initiatives to increase on-screen representation. The Global Content, Diverse Voices program will identify global scripted content that elevates underrepresented cultures across both Youth & Entertainment and Kids & Family brands. Elevating Diverse Creators, meanwhile, will identify creators in Latin America and allocate 25% of ViacomCBS International Studios’ budget to the support and development of projects by BIPOC creators. And VCNI’s EMEA and Asia division has also committed 30% of its budget in 2021 to producing stories focused on or related to underrepresented groups and issues.
In the wake of this summer’s fresh wave of Black Lives Matter protests, several broadcasters have stepped up and changed their approach to D&I initiatives, looking both outward as well as inward.
In related news, ViacomCBS International Studios is making its first animated series, Gloria Wants to Know it All. The preschool toon will be co-produced with Marc Anthony’s Magnus Studios and Juan José Campanella’s Mundoloco Animation Studios and Laguno Media. It tells the story of an eight-year-old alpaca from the big city who travels to spend time with her grandfather in a small Latin American town.
Created by Carla Curiel, Roberto Castro, Felipe Pimiento and Gaston Gorali, the show is written by Doreen Spicer, Maria Escobedo and Diego Labat. It will feature music from Marc Anthony (pictured), who is also executive producing the show and serving as executive musical producer.