Representing unheard voices is in our DNA and remains key to our Future4 strategy.
The Creative Diversity team sit at the heart of Commissioning and work across all genres and platforms.
We deliver increased representation on screen and behind the camera, encourage greater inclusion, and ensure that portrayal within our programmes is authentic, challenges stereotypes and reflects the lives of everyone living in Britain today.
We’re involved at the very start of the commissioning process helping to identify talent and opportunities that help shows to meet our Commissioning Diversity Guidelines. Through the Creative Diversity Fund we work with Heads of Departments to target funding to accelerate talent, ideas and independent producers.
The team has an open-door policy and aim to support and advise Channel 4’s production partners specifically to help them to meet the Commissioning Diversity Guidelines and also to support off screen talent where possible. We are creative partners, collaborators and facilitators working collectively to advocate for equality and ensure that real, substantial change takes place through our work.
Commissioning Diversity Guidelines
Diversity plays an extremely important role in all our commissioning. Our goal is to reflect the full diversity of contemporary Britain on and off screen. To achieve this, we have published a set of Commissioning Diversity Guidelines for indies.
In June 2022 we published an updated set of Commissioning Diversity Guidelines. These will come into play on 1st August 2022, and any programmes that are greenlit from that day onwards will be asked to adhere to the new guidelines. You can read the new guidelines here.
Black to Front
Black to Front was an ambitious project focused on a day in September 2021 when Channel 4's entire programming schedule was fronted by Black talent and contributors. It encompassed every genre – from news to drama - and involved all areas of the business including advertising, marketing, All 4 and social.
As part of the legacy of the Black To Front project, in 2021 Channel 4 became the first broadcaster to ring-fence commissioning spend for ethnically diverse-led indies. We have now published the Black to Front Manifesto, which outlines our continued commitment to supporting ethnically diverse talent. Read more about the project and view the Manifesto here.
Channel 4 and Motion Content Group Diverse Indies Fund: Creative Brief March 2022
In a further commitment to ring-fenced spend and a pledge to helping smaller, diverse indies grow, we are delighted to be partnering with Motion Content Group to deliver the Channel 4 and Motion Content Group Diverse Indies Fund - a new and dedicated fund, designed to support small and medium sized ethnically diverse indies. Full details are in the Commissioning Brief here.
Vivienne Molokwu, Senior Commissioning Editor is the lead for the fund. If you have any further questions please get in touch with Vivienne VMolokwu@Channel4.co.uk.
Disability Code of Portrayal
In July 2022 Channel 4 launched our disability code of portrayal, outlining our commitments to ensuring authentic, nuanced and original disability representation in our programming.
It works on both a portfolio and individual programme level to give a clear framework for our expectations in this area, to deliver volume, balance and range to our disability representation, and as a tool for getting us all into exciting, challenging creative conversations around disability representation.
The Disability Code of Portrayal intentionally dovetails with our recently refreshed Commissioning Diversity Guidelines and the portfolio-level commitments will be tracked in the same way.
You can read the Disability Code of Portrayal here
Disability Disruption Commissioning Brief
In mid February 2022 we issued a brief for a disability-related commission to TX in early 2023. Pls note, this is a closed tender to disabled-led indies or indies with senior creatives who self-identify as disabled. There are further details in the document below, but please do get in touch with your Commissioning Editor or our Disability Lead Ally Castle (ACastle@channel4.co.uk) if you would like to discuss further.
You can find the Disability Disruption Commissioning Brief here.
Introductory guides to hiring, including and progressing disabled production talent
In November 2021, we published three introductory guides to support indies when hiring, including and progressing disabled employees and freelancers.
You can find the guides here:
They explain our expectations when it comes to working with disabled talent on productions for Channel 4 as a part of fulfilling our Commissioning Diversity Guidelines.
We also offer 4Connect networking events for indies to meet with disabled production talent, in partnership with groups such as Deaf & Disabled People in TV. Below is a short a video on 4Connect which includes how to network with disabled talent and testimonials from talent who have attended the sessions.
The Indie Accelerator
Channel 4 and the TV Collective have joined forces again to run the Indie Accelerator – an opportunity for ethnically diverse led indies to access training, coaching and increased access to commissioners, as well as a chance to network with other indies. Applications are now welcomed from eligible indies. For details, criteria and the online application form please click here.