ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) is extending its ‘no diversity, no commission’ policy around the world.
The policy, which was first unveiled in the UK in July, will require that all new international productions be made by a diverse team and applies to VCNI’s business across five continents and more than 180 countries.
It will require production companies to adhere to diversity guidelines before budgets are signed off and productions are approved to begin. When budgets are agreed, the commissioner or project lead will check for appropriate diversity and recommend improvements, as needed.
Additionally, the policy will increase representation behind the camera to ensure that a variety of balanced, diverse voices are involved in all areas of production, ViacomCBS said.
“Expanding ‘No Diversity, No Commission’ to our entire international organisation is an important strategic move for VCNI,” said David Lynn, CEO and president of VCNI.
“ViacomCBS Networks International creates and distributes content to audiences all over the world. This approach will ensure that we are both reflecting our audience, as well as elevating new diverse creative voices. Change requires thorough research, careful planning, and immense care, and we’re looking forward to creating impactful, sustainable change through the power of our networks, partnerships, platforms and brands.”
VCNI said it is also committing to a series of initiatives to increase “authentic on-screen representation and inclusive storytelling”. These include a focus on ‘global content, diverse voices’, which will see the company identify global, scripted content “that elevates underrepresented cultures, across both youth and entertainment and kids & family brands’.
In Latin America, 25% of ViacomCBS International Studios’ budget will be allocated to the education and development of projects by BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Colour) creators, while VCNI’s Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asian division has also committed to dedicating 30% of its budget in 2021 to produce stories focused on or related to underrepresented groups and issues.