TCA: HBO Seeks To Increase Diversity Within Its Programming

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HBO will look to increase diversify within its programming both in front of and behind the camera, according to network executives speaking at the network's Television Critics Association tour Wednesday.

Responding to criticisms regarding the lack of diverse characters in its Emmy-award nominated series Girls, HBO president Michael Lombardo said the network is mindful of increasing diversity both in terms of show creators and casting. While Lombardo did say the network has several shows with diverse casts such as Treme and True Blood, he admitted the network needs to do more.

He said the network is working with director Spike Lee on a project as well as several other unidentified projects.
"It's something we are aware of ... I think we have shows that have diversity, but the truth is we could be doing better, and we will do better," Lombardo said. "We'd love to have more diversity on the screen -- not only diversity on the screen but diversity in the people bringing us shows."

Any increase in diversity will have to be developed organically within the creative process of show directors and producers and not forced by the network, according to Michael Plepler, HBO co-president.

"It has to come out authentically out of the creator's imagination," Plepler said. "You can't mandate any kind of diversity in the creation of a show."

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