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Producers of all Channel 4 shows will need to have at least one senior editorial figure from an ethnic minority under revised commissioning targets designed to preserve the legacy of last year’s Black to Front initiative.

C4 has tightened up its Commissioning Diversity Guidelines in partnership with the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity.

From August, unscripted indies on all greenlit shows must include ethnically diverse individuals in one or more roles such as head of production, series producer, production manager or series editor. In scripted, the roles include writer, lead editor and set, costume or hair and makeup designers. The acceptable roles common to both genre are producer, director and executive producer.

In addition, indies must meet one or two further criteria. Either ethnically diverse and disabled talent must be fairly represented and receive at least 20% of a production’s total salary spend, or they must hit specific staffing targets.

Under this third criteria, crews must be evenly split by gender and 10% of will identify as disabled. Among ethnic diversity, the targets vary: In London, 20% of the team must be from an ethnically diverse group, while in regional productions this falls to 15%, and in national productions it is 10%.

The changes come as C4 commits to a second series of SBTV/Cardiff Productions’ Black to Front commission Unapologetic and commissions TX pilot Crazy Rich Ghanaians, in which British-Congolese comedian Eddie Kadi gives a stand-a week-long tour of the wealthy corners of Ghana.

Brenda Edwards, the mother of the late SBTV founder Jamal Edwards, has joined the Unapologetic team as an executive producer to honour his legacy.

“I believe a fundamental part of his legacy is to keep innovating and challenging the way we see the world and I am honoured to be carrying on Jamal’s mission," she said.

C4 outlines its statement of itent in a Manifesto 4 Change drawn up to incorporate the latest guidelines and established and previously announced initiatives, including its Diverse Indies Fund, its Momentum training and mentoring scheme, and its guides to hiring, including and progressing disabled talent.

The broadcaster has pledged to help small indies meet these new rules and has stepped up its pledge for commissioning departments to be 20% ethnically diverse to ensure that this applies to commissioning editors, commissioning executives and the most senior leaders.

C4 takes overall responsibility for on-screen representation. All shows must either have a specific focus on ethnicity, disability, LGBTQ+, lower-socio economic groups or other underrepresented groups, and/or meet targets for presenters, contributors or cast.

Across their slate, unscripted genre heads are committed for at least 20% of presenters (and contributors in a series) to be from an ethnically diverse group, 10% disabled, and 5% identifying as LGBTQ+.

Scripted shows should “predominantly feature a significant proportion” of ethnically diverse, disabled and/or LGBTQ+ actors and characters.

Across all genres, every series must have at least one disabled contributor, guest, actor or character, and disabled performers will be sought for every disabled role.

C4 chief content officer Ian Katz said the broadcaster is “doubling down on our pledge to drive change behind the camera with a new set of off-screen diversity targets for all our productions, and a commitment to do all we can to help our indie partners broaden their talent networks and open up our industry to all.”

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