Boss Of UK TV Diversity Body Stepping Down After Eight Years

Boss Of UK TV Diversity Body Stepping Down After Eight Years

Deborah Williams, the head of the UK’s Creative Diversity Network (CDN), is stepping down after eight years.

Williams joined the network in 2016 and has since helmed the Diamond initiative, a landmark data reporting project with buy-in from all the UK broadcasters that has analyzed the diverse make-up of thousands of TV shows. This initiative has been used to forge multiple reports on diversity while holding up a mirror to TV gatekeepers, and it has sparked much debate.

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Williams, who has won a number of awards and has been a regular at festivals, was also a key player in the likes of the Doubling Disability target, which aims to double the number of disabled people working behind the camera on UK TV shows. The CDN also put on a number of training programs for producers and broadcasters under her leadership.

“The CDN Board wishes to thank Deborah for her service with CDN and her commitment over the past years to furthering diversity and inclusion in our industry. We wish her the very best for the future,” said CDN Board Chair Paul Moore.

Williams’ exit comes a few months after she was forced to deny ‘liking’ allegedly antisemitic LinkedIn posts about Stephen Fry‘s Christmas speech. It came as prominent Jewish TV executives in the UK expressed their horror at a social media post by a former Channel 4 commissioner, who had attacked Fry’s rallying call against antisemitism.

“A great opportunity”

The CDN has begun the process of finding a new CEO, with recruiter Quicksmith handling the search.

“This is a great opportunity to lead a unique and vital organization whose role is to improve diversity and inclusion in UK television both in front of and behind the camera,” added Moore. “Industry wide improvement will only happen by taking a collaborative, cross-sector approach.”

The CEO reports to the organization’s board, which is comprised of senior representatives from member broadcasters BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Paramount, Sky, S4C, UKTV and Warner Bros. Discovery, alongside BAFTA, Pact, ScreenSkills and the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust.

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