Netflix partners with BBC to develop shows from disabled creatives

Netflix and BBC have come up with an ingenious partnership to develop and co-produce engaging dramas created and represented by disabled creatives both on and behind the screen.

The five-year partnership between the BBC and Netflix will continue with additional aims to increase the representation of disabled talent on and off-screen, broaden the variety of stories showcased, and provide further opportunities for disabled writers and creatives to explore the stories they wish to put out.

The BBC and Netflix plan to examine projects from UK producers developed or co-authored by writers who identify as deaf, handicapped, and/or neurodivergent. The concept for pitches is diversified and can be about any genre, area, or planet.

Furthermore, the official press release states:

“We 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 our most talked about and original dramas already being developed.”

It is to be noted that even though all concepts will be evaluated and developed collaboratively, the BBC will serve as the entrance point for all project applications and pitches for the initiative.

Speaking on this new venture, Piers Wenger, BBC Director of Drama, says:

“Jack’s powerful, memorable MacTaggart has shone a revealing light onto the extent of the challenges faced by disabled creatives. We recognise 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.”

Anne Mensah, Netflix Vice President, Series, UK, also gave her statement:

“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.” 

The partnership and opportunities provided through it will open the door for disabled talents to showcase their creativity on a larger stage with broader audience outreach.

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