Entertainment

CBS Pledges to Make the Casts of ‘Survivor’ and ‘Big Brother’ 50% People of Color

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CBS just announced that it is committing to making at least 50% of the casts of their unscripted shows Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC). CBS also announced that they are devoting 25% of their unscripted budget to BIPOC creators. The changes are expected to take effect in the 2021-2022 season.

“The reality TV genre is an area that’s especially underrepresented, and needs to be more inclusive across development, casting, production and all phases of storytelling,” said CBS CEO George Cheeks. “As we strive to improve all of these creative aspects, the commitments announced today are important first steps in sourcing new voices to create content and further expanding the diversity in our unscripted programming, as well as on our Network.”

CBS’s unscripted TV shows include fan-favorite staples like “Survivor”, “The Amazing Race”, “Big Brother”, and “Love Island”. The network has regularly come under fire for failing to cast diverse talent in both their scripted and unscripted programs. Unlike other broadcast networks like ABC (Grey’s Anatomy, literally any other Shondaland show) or NBC (This Is Us, Superstore), CBS has a reputation for white-washing its programming.

Last year, a former CBS Diversity & Inclusion executive wrote an op-ed in Variety accusing the company of having a “white problem”.

“While CBS proudly touts its diversity programs, a close look beneath the surface reveals that the company is unconcerned about creating space for minorities,” wrote Whitney Davis, who is a Black woman. “CBS continues to promote its diversity initiatives in public, while internally minorities are practically invisible.” 

In June of this year, a group of Black “Survivor” alumni created a petition demanding that the stalwart show make 30% of its cast BIPOC. They also asked that BIPOC are given “equitable screen time and opportunities to participate in marketing and promotional events.” The show’s Black alumni alleged that they were ostracized, gaslighted, and short-shrifted while they were contestants on the show. The petition received almost 8,000 signatures to-date.

As is expected, fan reactions have been mixed. Some people are happy that CBS is making the effort to fix the structural problems of their company. But others feel that the commitment is forced and will result in BIPOC cast members being treated as tokens.

This person is confident that CBS’s unscripted shows will simply improve by including more people of color on their cast lists.

If anything, this decision will add some much-needed change to their tired formulas.

This person was ready to submit their application.

Now that people know the playing field is more even, we’re sure that CBS will receive a more diverse pool of applications.

This person has doubts as to how CBS will approach choosing and casting POC.

It’s one thing to talk about diversity, but it’s another thing to actually choose people who represent a range of diverse cultures.

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Sasha Calle Is Officially The DC Universe’s First-Ever Latina Supergirl

Entertainment

Sasha Calle Is Officially The DC Universe’s First-Ever Latina Supergirl

Albert L. Ortega / Getty

The DC Universe just got a heck of a lot more Brown.

This week, it was announced that 25-year-old actress Sasha Calle is poised to be the franchise’s newest superstar. Known for portraying Lola Rosales on “The Young and the Restless,” the actress will take on the role of Supergirl in the DC film franchise.

Her first appearance as Supergirl expected to debut in the upcoming movie “The Flash.”

Calle, who is of Colombian heritage, is set to become the first Latina ever to play the role of Supergirl.

Calle earned her first breakout role in 2018 after being cast in the long-running CBS daytime drama “The Young & The Restless” as a food truck owner and the youngest sister of brothers in the midst of a toxic rivalry.

Calle earned a Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Young Performer in a Drama Series category last year for her part in the series.

“On behalf of everyone at ‘The Young and the Restless,’ we’d like to congratulate Sasha Calle on making history and being chosen to play the first Latina Supergirl,” the daytime drama’s executive producer Anthony Morina and co-executive producer/head writer Josh Griffith shared in a statement. “The role of Supergirl is a perfect fit for someone of Sasha’s immense talent, and we wish her all the best as she takes on this groundbreaking role.”

According to Deadline, Calle beat out 425 actresses for the part of Supergirl.

Andy Muschietti director of The Flash gave Calle the good news about her role over Zoom.

“Can I freak out for a second?” Calle asked before announcing the news to someone offscreen. “I got it,” she said to the person off-camera while doing a dance in her chair. Turning back to Muschietti, Calle admitted “I’m probably not going to stop crying all day.”

Calle shared the moment to her Instagram admitting she was still processing the big news.

“A Latina superhero?!” Calle wrote of the news in Spanish. “On what planet?! Well, on this planet! What joy and what pride.” Thanking her mom, Calle wrote, “I adore you with everything I have. You are an example of a superhero.”

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Chris Harrison Is ‘Stepping Aside’ From Hosting ‘The Bachelor’ After Public Outcry Over His Racially Insensitive Remarks

Entertainment

Chris Harrison Is ‘Stepping Aside’ From Hosting ‘The Bachelor’ After Public Outcry Over His Racially Insensitive Remarks

Photos via Getty Images

If you’re a Bachelor Nation fan, you’ve probably heard the news: long-time “Bachelor” host Chris Harrison is going to be “stepping aside” from hosting duties in the wake of recent controversy.

The move comes after Harrison caught major blowback for defending a current contestant who attended an antebellum plantation-themed frat party in 2018.

The contestant in question also liked various problematic social media posts before she appeared in this season.

The backlash (mostly directed at Harrison’s tone towards former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay) was fierce. Current and former BIPOC and non-BIPOC contestants condemned Harrison for his comments and asked for an apology.

Harrison did apologize before releasing a statement saying he would be taking a break from hosting duties for a “period of time”.

“The historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions,” he wrote. “To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for the After the Final Rose special.”

For those not well-versed in The Bachelor world, this news is shocking because Chris Harrison has been hosting The Bachelor since its premiere in 2002. He is the show’s voice, face, and figurehead. His name is synonymous with the brand.

And while some people are happy to accept Chris Harrison’s apology, others still have their reservations.

Colombiano and season 13 winner Bryan Abasolo took to his podcast to call Chris Harrison’s apology “weak”.

Abasolo, who is married to Rachel Lindsay, started off his comments by saying that he had “highly respected” Harrison before his comments but now, he “definitely lost respect” for the Bachelor host.

Abasolo also said that Harrison’s comments were “irresponsible”, “hurtful” and “flat-out unacceptable.”

“Chris comes out and says this, and to me it makes me wonder like, ‘Damn, is this how everyone on the top feels?’ I hope that isn’t the case, but this is the figurehead. Is this the sentiment that we are trying to overcome, still in 2021?”

“[Chris was] adamant about it, vented Abasolo. “Quite frankly, the apology…I thought it was weak, not gonna lie.”

“You said everything you’ve said in public, I believe that it should be standard that you should apologize by showing your face and speaking in public the same as your words were aired in public when you said them.”

Abasolo also explained that while he “doesn’t believe in cancel culture” that the public “needs to see the growth” from people in the spotlight who mess up.

“You have too big of a platform and you’re too big of an influencer for you not to lead by example in this situation,” Abasolo said. “I just pray that we see that evolution from him play out for everyone to see.”

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