CBS Promises Diversity on 'Survivor', 'Big Brother' and Other Reality Shows

Before the network pledges diversity in future cast members, some 'Survivor' alums spoke out against the show, with Sean Rector and Jolanda Jones being two of the most vocal critics.

AceShowbiz - CBS is planning to make changes. Following criticism from past contestants of the network's shows like "Survivor", "Big Brother" and "Love Island", the network pledged on Monday, November 9 that all future casts will contain at least 50 percent black, indigenous and people of color.

"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," George Cheeks, president and chief executive officer for the CBS Entertainment Group, declared. "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."

Prior to this, some "Survivor" alums spoke out against the show, criticizing the cast which was dominated with white contestants. Among the critics were Sean Rector, who participated on "Survivor: Marquesas", and Jolanda Jones, who appeared on "Survivor: Palau". They formed a group called The Black Survivor Alliance in order to bring "light to our collective experience with implicit bias and racism on and off the show."

"If you don't think racism and implicit bias exists, tell me why ['Survivor: Marquesas' winner Vecepia Robinson] has been completely ignored and has NEVER received an inquiry call or invite to even play in a season with all previous winners?" Rector said.

"(Please miss me with the 'she was boring or not great TV' BS). Subsequently, ten seasons later, Earl Cole, a black man, finally won and like my sis Vecepia and Marquesas, was largely ignored by showrunners ... Television, specifically the 'Survivor' franchise, has a responsibility and the power to represent a more just and equitable playing field as a benchmark of real progress for ALL people, and not some concession of perceived power or standing that had to be compromised by one group to another," he went on to say.

Julia Carter from "Survivor: Edge of Extinction" and J'Tia Taylor from "Survivor: Cagayan" also slammed the show for the lack of diversity during their appearance on "Quarantine Questionnaire".

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