Posted on April 19, 2021

Dana Walden Says ABC Passed on Pilots for Not Being Inclusive Enough

Chris Gardner, Hollywood Reporter, April 14, 2021

Last fall, ABC unveiled a set of inclusion standards as a path toward more diverse representation both onscreen and behind the scenes on network shows. For onscreen representation, the guidelines called for 50 percent or more of regular and recurring characters to come from underrepresented groups and the same percentage for the actors who play those parts.

Walt Disney Television chairman of entertainment Dana Walden referenced the standards April 9 during a panel discussion put on by Chapman University and Glamour, and she revealed that the latest crop of pilots received by the network failed to make the grade. “I will tell you for the first time we received some incredibly well-written scripts that did not satisfy our standards in terms of inclusion, and we passed on them,” Walden explained {snip}

Walden cited an example of receiving a script centered on a white family with the assumption that the diversity would come with the neighbors. “Pass,” she said. {snip}