CBS president Glenn Gellar admitted the network’s all-white male class of fall stars doesn’t reflect well on its diversity efforts.
“We’re very mindful at CBS about the importance of diversity and inclusion,” he said after being criticised by reporters during the Television Critics Association press tour on Wednesday, according to TVLine.
“We need to do better and we know it,” Geller also said. “We are definitely less diverse this year than last year, and we need to do better.”
The network has six new shows for the fall season, all led by eight white males: Michael Weatherly of “Bull,” Joel McHale on “The Great Indoors,” Kevin James on “Kevin Can Wait,” George Eads in the titular role on “MacGyver,” Matt LeBlanc on “Man With a Plan,” and “Pure Genius” stars Dermot Mulroney and Augustus Prew.
It doesn’t stand up well to the diverse leads on the other broadcast networks’ new shows.
In the network’s defence, Gellar pointed out that CBS’s diversity efforts are reflected in its returning shows and with the supporting casts on their shows as a whole. As an example, he pointed out that 11 of the 16 series regulars added to fall shows weren’t white. “NCIS,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” and “Criminal Minds,” for example, have added Wilmer Valderrama, Duane Henry, Vanessa Ferlito, Adam Rodriguez, and Aisha Tyler as series regulars.
Beyond the fall, Gellar reminded the reporters that its midseason drama, “Training Day,” starred co-lead Justin Cornwell.
“Those aren’t just words, that is real action,” he said.
He also pointed out that aside from leads, the network has made great strides in hiring diverse directors and writers.
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