Advancing Diversity and Racial Equality Remains a Priority for the Cable Industry
On Monday, the cable industry will join millions of Americans in honoring the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. The holiday is a time to celebrate and pay tribute to the minister and activist whose leadership resulted in great strides for civil rights in this country. But as the United States continues to go through a reckoning with racial injustice, this is also an important time to remember that tremendous work remains to be done to ensure that social justice and racial equity are achieved. The cable industry recognizes that its enormous reach and influence in American households can help to move the needle on these issues, and is committed to advancing diversity initiatives that increase representation across the cable workforce and on television.
Year after year, the cable industry comes together to champion and further diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts through the Walter Kaitz Foundation. The foundation funds and promotes key programs that provide pathways towards leadership opportunities for people of color in the internet and television business. Programmers and internet service providers also host a plethora of their own initiatives dedicated to the recruitment and training of diverse candidates, and councils led by and geared towards people of color to ensure that they have influence in company-wide decision making.
Last year, cable operators and TV networks stepped up to renew their commitments to diversity and inclusion in various ways. Comcast NBCUniversal pledged $100 million towards a multiyear program to fight injustice and inequality. ViacomCBS committed $5 million towards social justice causes, and launched multiple initiatives geared at developing diverse talent in front of and behind the camera. Lifetime and Hallmark networks also built on their commitments to increase diversity on screen and behind the scenes, and in 2020, aired their most diverse and inclusive slate of holiday movies yet. These are just a few examples of the steps that cable companies are taking towards building a more fair and equitable society.
As the holiday weekend begins, it's more important than ever to reflect on the meaning of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s mission and the ongoing calls for racial justice, and to seek opportunities to bring communities a step closer to eradicating racism. The cable industry will play its part and continues its work towards creating safe and inclusive workplace cultures where all forms of diversity can thrive and flourish, and programming that truly represents and embraces racial equality.