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BBC, Netflix team to accelerate diversity in drama

Building on their existing commitments, the five-year partnership has been designed to increase representation of disabled talent both on-screen and off-screen, to widen the range of stories produced and give disabled writers and creatives greater choice when it comes to the sort of stories they wish to tell.

“Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent creators are some of the least well represented groups on television in the UK. Put simply, we want to change that fact,” said Anne Mensah, Netflix vice president, series, UK. “Together with the BBC, we hope to help these creators to tell the biggest and boldest stories and speak to the broadest possible British and Global audience. It’s been hugely exciting to develop this project with…the BBC Drama team and we are incredibly passionate about the creative possibilities of this partnership.”

In the collaboration, the BBC and Netflix will consider projects from UK producers that have been created or co-created by writers who identify as deaf, disabled and/or neurodivergent. All projects are to be created or co-created by deaf, disabled and neurodivergent writers. Pitches can draw imaginatively on any genre, precinct or world. We are looking for ideas which feel ambitious and elevated, and which challenge the limits that the industry might unconsciously put on disability. The intention of the partnership is to firmly place the shows alongside our most talked about and original dramas already being developed.

“We recognise the need for change and we hope that in coming together the BBC and Netflix have created a funding model which will help level the playing field for deaf, disabled and neurodivergent creators in the UK,” added BBC director of drama Piers Wenger. “We would like to thank [Anne Mensah, Netflix vice president, series, UK] and her team for the readiness and vision they have shown in coming on board to develop this initiative with us.”

The BBC and Netflix will issue a creative brief and outline of the process which will be made available to all producers, alongside a webinar. All projects will be assessed and developed jointly, but the BBC will be the point of entry for all project submissions and pitches for the initiative. Rapid TV News

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