CBS have explained why there are no female leads in any of their fall line-up shows
After announcing all their new shows yesterday (May 17th), CBS have defended the decision to have all-male leads for their fall 17/18 line-up.
The move comes after last season, CBS were criticized for their lack of diversity and inclusivity for their new shows. At the time, all of the six new shows featured white men in the leads, with the head of the network, Glenn Geller, noting that they needed to do better.
“We’re very mindful at CBS of the importance of diversity and inclusion,” he said at the time during the 2016 TCA Summer Press Tour. “We need to do better and we know it. That’s really it, we need to do better. In terms of leads we are definitely less diverse this year than last year, and like I said we need to do better.”
Since then, Geller has been forced to take a leave of absence from CBS following a heart attack, and it seems that CBS has gone back on it’s word.
Announcing their fall line-up schedule, it seems that CBS’s pledge for diversity hasn’t quite been answered.
At a press breakfast, current network chief Les Moonves was quizzed by a reporter about the apparent lack of female leads in their fall line-up. The reporter called in to question as to whether the network was worried about having an all-male line-up when women, traditionally, watch more television than men.
“Well, number one, more women watch CBS, percentage-wise, than any other network, so our shows have a lot of female appeal,” Moonves replied. “I don’t think we’ve ever had to apologize for having Madam Secretary and Lucy Liu [on Elementary], and The Good Fight and The Good Wife.”
Continuing, he explained that it was, in fact, the “best pilots that win.” Hmm…
“We do a number of pilots, a lot of them have women in starring roles. There are a lot of women on the schedule. The best pilots win at the end of the day. And we think our track record is okay,” Mooves argued.
“I don’t think that’s the case,” Moonves retorted. “Let me put on my CEO hat for a second because I’m not the president of entertainment. When I look at the totality of what CBS is, I look at news, I look at daytime, I look at sports, I look at Showtime, I look at The CW.
“And when you look at the totality of that, I think we’re fine in terms of the amount of women who are behind the camera and in front of the camera. I think we’re doing a very good job. I don’t think we’re looking in the wrong direction, on the contrary.”
We have to admit, we’re a little disappointed by the lack of inclusivity in CBS’ new line-up. As we know, diversity and inclusivity can actually help change the world, and save lives, so it’s a shame not to see the network stand by their promise of switching things up and taking a step towards the future.