CBS Sets Inclusion Standards for ‘Big Brother,’ ‘Survivor,’ & More Unscripted Shows

Big Brother Season 22

CBS appears to be addressing its lack of diverse casting for unscripted series like Big Brother, Survivor, and other fan favorites.

The network has announced that starting with the 2021-2022 season, its reality shows will have at minimum 50% Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) cast members.

CBS also aims to expand diversity behind-the-scenes on unscripted projects with new initiatives for partners: Beginning with the 2021-2022 season, it pledged, it will give 25% percent of its development funding to projects from BIPOC creators and producers.

The lack of diversity on some shows has been a consistent issue raised by viewers, perhaps most vocally around the recent season of Big Brother, as some contestants have made racially insensitive comments.

Survivor Winners at War CBS

(Credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

Last season, one contestant made offensive comments about an Asian American guest that pushed host Julie Chen Moonves to question his behavior upon his eviction.

“The reality TV genre is an area that’s especially underrepresented, and needs to be more inclusive across development, casting, production and all phases of storytelling,” CBS President and CEO George Cheeks said in a statement. “As we strive to improve all of these creative aspects, the commitments announced today are important first steps in sourcing new voices to create content and further expanding the diversity in our unscripted programming, as well as on our Network.”

Stay tuned for upcoming seasons of CBS’ unscripted slate to see how the new standards are enacted.