3 SEP 2021

BBC and Netflix team up to co-produce shows from disabled creatives

The BBC and Netflix have formed a groundbreaking partnership to develop and fund new, ambitious dramas featuring disabled creatives both in front of and behind the camera.

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The BBC and Netflix have formed a groundbreaking partnership to develop and fund new, ambitious dramas featuring disabled creatives both in front of and behind the camera. Building on the existing commitments of both the BBC and Netflix, 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.

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.

The companies 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 the most talked about and original dramas already being developed.

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. 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.

“Jack’s powerful, memorable MacTaggart has shone a revealing light onto the extent of the challenges faced by disabled creatives. We recognize 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. We would like to thank Anne and her team for the readiness and vision they have shown in coming on board to develop this initiative with us,”  said Piers Wenger, Director of Drama of the BBC.

Anne Mensah, Vice President, Series, UK at Netflix, added: “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. 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 Piers Wenger and the BBC Drama team, and we are incredibly passionate about the creative possibilities of this partnership”.

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” Anne Mensah Vice President, Series, UK at Netflix