Amazon Prime has followed Channel 5 owner ViacomCBS in insisting that pitches have diversity “baked in” and is hunting a diversity chief to ensure its output is inclusive.
Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, the SVoD’s EU originals chief Georgia Brown said diversity must be talked about at each stage of the commissioning process rather than as an “add-on”.
Once appointed, Amazon Prime’s London-based diversity, equity and inclusion senior programme manger will shape its strategy, defining goals and priorities across the European Union, launching programmes, introducing metrics and identifying opportunities to diversify its output.
Brown said: “I want people’s full time jobs to be to think about this day in day out so that we can have strict processes in place for when a show gets greenlit.”
Her comments follow a commitment made by C5 and VCBSUK director of programming Ben Frow at last year's festival.
Brown, the advisory chair of this year’s festival, hailed Jack Thorne’s “devastatingly stark” message about the industry’s record on disability and praised rival Netflix’s launch of a five-year partnership with the BBC to commission drama from disabled writers.
“Lots of people say disability takes a backseat in the diversity conversation but it’s barely even in the car,” she said. “We’ve not been thinking about it in the way that we need to think about it and I wanted this festival to be a catalyst for the conversation we urgently need to have."