Over the past couple years, diversity in the entertainment industry has become a pressing issue. While it seems we’ve been making strides, there’s still a long way to go.
Take a look at CBS. All the new shows premiering on the network this fall star white male leads. As a result, CBS president Glenn Geller has taken some flack. On Tuesday, Geller addressed questions and concerns about CBS’ lack of diversity during a discussion at the 2016 TCA summer press tour.
“I’m really glad this question came up first because we’re very mindful at CBS of the importance of diversity and inclusion,” Geller said. “We need to do better and we know it. That’s really it, we need to do better. In terms of leads, we are definitely less diverse this year than last year, and like I said, we need to do better.”
Geller then called attention to the casting of Laverne Cox in “Doubt,” saying “it’s “historic,” before pointing out that 11 of the new series’ regulars (not necessarily leads) on CBS shows are “diverse.” One of those actors is Justin Cornwell, who will appear on the upcoming “Training Day.” There are also LGBTQ characters on “Bull,” “The Great Indoors,” Season 2 of “Code Black” and “NCIS: New Orleans.”
Geller stressed, “We also need to look behind the camera as well,” adding, “We haven’t finished filling all of our director slots. We’re getting better and better in our director ranks; over half of our directors are diverse.”
In terms of diversity among showrunners, Gellar said it all boils down to choosing the best shows.
“Sometimes our showrunners are diverse, sometimes they’re not diverse,” he said. “We picked up the best shows from the pilots we made.”