Channel 4 executives will find their bonus payments cut if they fail to meet radical new diversity targets which require women, black, asian or minority ethnic (BAME) people and the disabled to be given leading roles across all of its programmes. Channel 4’s drama and comedies are required to include at least one lead character from an ethnic minority, LGBT or disabled background and 50 per cent of the lead roles must be female, if no other minority groups feature. Entertainment shows must also have 25 per cent female on-screen representation as well as a minimum of 15 per cent guests or presenters who are LGBT, ethnic minority, disabled or “another underrepresented group”. The commitments extend to off-screen roles: 15 per cent of the production team in scripted shows should be from an ethnic minority or have a disability. “It is positive action, not positive discrimination”, Channel 4 said. The new targets would not prevent some good programmes from being commissioned, “We just have to look harder to find talented people from these groups”.
Apparently the Academy Awards didn’t get the message and nominated only talented people for their Oscars. The 2015 list of Oscar nominations has raised eyebrows because for just the second time since the turn of the Century, every nominee in the Academy’s four acting categories is white.