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ViacomCBS Int’l Studios eyes inclusivity

ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS) is to invest 25% of its Latin America budget to create and develop black, indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) content.

Federico Cuervo

The initiative is part of the company’s global No Diversity, No Commission policy, which was announced earlier this year and marks a commitment to expand its diverse and inclusive representation both on and off screen.

In Brazil, ViacomCBS pointed to three projects under development that have been sourced by attending different festivals and local talent meetings to find stories from the country’s black population.

These are Maria do Socorro, a drama series with female main characters that focuses on life in a discriminatory and sexist society; A coisa tá preta, a stand-up comedy series; and Funknautas, a children’s musical series about the relationship between a girl from the streets and three children who live in a mansion.

Elsewhere, ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI)’s Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia divisions have also committed to allocating 30% of their 2021 budgets to producing stories focused on or related to underrepresented groups.

Federico Cuervo, senior VP and head of VIS, said: “Diversity and inclusion are essential in everything we do for all of our content. ViacomCBS, as a company, is committed to diversity and inclusion by implementing several initiatives. At VIS, we are taking big strides towards fulfilling that pledge both in front and behind the camera.”

In the US, VIS broadcast network CBS has committed 25% of its script development budget to projects from BIPOC creators and producers.

CBS has also set a target for 50% BIPOC representation across all casts for its unscripted series, beginning in the 2021-22 broadcast season.

Introduced in 2018, VIS is a division of VCNI that produces content for ViacomCBS brands and platforms, such as Nickelodeon, MTV, Paramount Channel and Channel 5 in the UK, as well as for third parties.



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