Fox Launches Diversity Initiative for Unscripted Programming

Marsheila Hayes and Allison Wallach
Courtesy of Alex Kroke/FOX Entertainment; Frank Micelotta/FOX Entertainment

Fox is implementing a new program, Fastrack, to improve representation on its unscripted programming.

Launched by the network's in-house unscripted studio Fox Alternative Entertainment, the program will see two to three candidates of diverse backgrounds placed on production teams as associate producers across the division's various shows (including mega-hit The Masked Singer) starting in January. The year-long program will provide candidates hands-on production experience as well as mentorship and advice through FAE's team. After six months within the initiative, candidates can specialize in an area of their choosing and, upon completion of the program, have the potential to be hired on a FAE-produced show.

"Fox has long been committed to providing viewers with programming that reflects the world in which we live. As we build FAE, we are continuing Fox’s legacy with Fastrack, creating opportunities for underrepresented individuals early in their career," said FAE head Allison Wallach, who will oversee Fastrack. "Representation on-screen and behind the camera is important to FAE, as well as being able to help guide the next generation of producers that are seeking to place their imprint on popular culture, as they further develop their portfolio of skills."

The effort to improve representation within unscripted programming follows similar measures put in place by other broadcast networks this year. CBS announced in November its goal to target 50 percent of its unscripted casts to being comprised of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) beginning in the 2021-22 broadcast season. The ViacomCBS-owned broadcaster additionally pledged to allocate a quarter of its unscripted development budget to projects from BIPOC producers for next season.

In September, ABC unveiled a new slate of inclusion standards aimed at increasing inclusion of underrepresented groups onscreen, in writing and directing jobs, and below the line.

"Developing this initiative is an extension of FAE’s commitment to elevate and celebrate the diverse perspectives that our future participants will bring to our programming. It is an exciting next step in building a sustainable talent pipeline from which all of Fox Entertainment will benefit," said Marsheila Hayes, vp diversity and inclusion at Fox Corp.

Candidates  for the Fastrack program can submit applications until Jan. 8, 2021.