Comcast’s Sky Reveals On-Screen Diversity Success But Struggles With BAME Writers


British pay-TV broadcaster Sky has unveiled its latest diversity figures, highlighting its success on screen although it is struggling with its own writer quotas.

In 2014, the Comcast-backed company became one of the first British TV firms to put its own quotas in place, targeting 20% of onscreen roles and 20% of writing positions going to black, Asian and minority ethic people.

In the 12 months to end of September 2019, it revealed that on-screen representation was 31%, above its own target. However, it also noted that only 8% of writers were BAME. Separately, it has also had success by putting at least one person from a BAME background in a senior production role across its original series.

Sky has several schemes aimed at addressing areas of ongoing underrepresentation. For example, Sky Table Reads is a monthly event launched in 2015, that spotlights writers from BAME background and provides an opportunity for casting directors to introduce diverse acting talent to producers and executives.

Sky has collected data from across its original commissions made in the UK as part of Project Diamond, an industry wide diversity monitoring scheme. The next publication of the Diamond report, the third annual publication, is scheduled for release later this month.

Sky Studios CEO Gary Davey, who is the company’s executive sponsor of BAME inclusion, said, “The Diamond data is an essential tool for holding ourselves accountable for diversity on both sides of the screen.  We are making huge progress in some areas, but Diamond has highlighted specific areas where we need to redouble our efforts.  This is especially the case among the writer population, where we’ll be stepping up efforts to address the underrepresentation of BAME voices.  We believe in broad and representative creative input, so we have to continue to step up in this area.”

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