Broadcasters partner on HireBIPOC launch, create new greenlight mandate

Bell Media, CBC, Corus Entertainment and Rogers Sports & Media are foundational partners on the hiring database from BIPOC TV & Film with commitments to use the resource for original productions.

Canada’s major broadcasters have partnered once again with the launch of HireBIPOC, along with a commitment to use the resource as a condition in commissioning original productions.

Bell Media, CBC, Corus Entertainment and Rogers Sports & Media are foundational partners on the website, which officially launches today (Oct. 5). The hiring database for Black, Indigenous and people of colour in Canada’s screen-based industry is owned and operated by grassroots organization BIPOC TV & Film. More than 500 members of the industry have registered with the website as of the launch date.

Three of the broadcasters – Bell Media, Corus and Rogers – have committed to use HireBIPOC as “a specific condition of greenlight for original productions.” CBC says it “urges all producers to use resources such as HireBIPOC and similar industry sites.”

The website was first announced in July as a partnership between Bell Media and BIPOC TV & Film to help streamline the hiring of diverse candidates in Canada’s screen-based industry. It includes profiles of potential candidates in above and below-the-line production roles, communications, marketing and executives. HireBIPOC was designed and developed by Bell Media, which has been in consultation with BIPOC TV & Film and community groups on the initiative.

As of its launch day, more than 20 media organizations have signed on as partners, including the Canada Media Fund (CMF), the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, the Canadian Film Centre, the City of Toronto and Ontario Creates.

“If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that now is the time for brave steps towards radical change,” said BIPOC TV & Film founder Nathalie Younglai, in a statement. “HireBIPOC is one step amongst many, in order to transform the face of our industry. We need measurable commitments to hiring more Black, Indigenous and people of colour. We all have a circle of influence and it is up to each one of us to use it.”

HireBIPOC is the latest hiring database to serve underrepresented members of Canada’s screen-based industry in the last year.

Film in Colour, created by filmmaker Pavan Moondi, launched at the beginning of 2020 to feature Canadian BIPOC talent and has since expanded in August to welcome profiles from screen-based workers all over the world. The Reelworld Film Festival launched Access Reelworld in July with an estimated 250 profiles and more than 75 work categories. The festival has also launched an initiative with Bell Media on a new emerging producers program for underrepresented voices in the industry.