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Sky moves closer to its diversity targets

Category: Industry News, diversity, Achievements, commisions, broadcast, target

Sky moves closer to its diversity targets

Media, New media, CreativeSky believes it is making progress towards achieving the diversity targets put in place by former entertainment channels boss Stuart Murphy 18 months ago.

Broadcast understands that on the vast majority of its highest-profile new commissions, the pay-TV broadcaster has achieved its aim of ensuring at least one senior production executive and 20% of onscreen and writing talent are from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

However, several smaller productions, largely commissioned for Sky Arts, are still struggling to meet the “enormous commitments” put in place by Murphy in August 2014 to ensure that all new shows boost diversity.

Many of the one-off dramas produced for the channel’s Playhouse Presents strand have a small cast and crew, making it more difficult to fulfil the criteria.

It is believed that Working Title’s You, Me And The Apocalypse is among the major shows to have complied with the targets. BAME actors including Gaia Scodellaro, Paterson Joseph and Prasanna Puwanarajah are key members of the ensemble cast, while Mickey Down is among its writers.

Twenty Six 03-produced music panel show Bring The Noise has also met the requirements, with former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger and rapper Tinie Tempah among the show’s panellists.

Meanwhile, Looking star O.T. Fagbenle leads the cast of upcoming Red Production Company- produced crime drama The Five.

The Sky 1 show was directed by former Radio 1 DJ Mark Tonderai, who recently directed Jennifer Lawrence film House At The End Of The Street. Another high-profile commission, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, has also hit the target.

Sky drama head Anne Mensah opened up about the challenges of boosting diversity during Lenny Henry’s Bafta diversity event last week.

“Obviously they are challenging targets, and Stuart Murphy is not one for holding back. But what’s exciting is it’s now in our DNA. The three big Sky 1 dramas all hit the targets: You, Me And the Apocalypse, The Five and Stan Lee’s Lucky Man,” she said.

“I’m not saying we’re perfect – it is important to look at the difficulties as well as the successes. On big dramas there are lots of roles to fill. On smaller projects for, say, Sky Arts – maybe a passion project driven by a single individual – it’s harder. But we are supporting the indies.”

Sky is not expected to announce the results of the scheme until the end of its financial year, which runs until 30 June 2016, and is now ensuring that all shows that are close to commission meet the requirements.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email info@vercida.com for more information.

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