Television juggernaut the BBC just made a surprising announcement: the network wants more gayness on TV.
The proclamation follows a series of surveys that found only about half of young people (ages 18-24) identify as “fully heterosexual.” Internal surveys of BBC employees have also reported that workers deem the work environment a “heteronormative culture.”
The announcement also succeeds a recent trend on the British television station to increase LGBTQ representation in network programming. In fact, research conducted in 2016 actually ranked the BBC ahead of US television in terms of the number of queer characters that appeared on screen.
The move will also correspond with more inclusive policies instituted for the BBC workforce. Network employees will be encouraged to “bring their whole self to work;” in other words, to open up about their sexuality and gender identity.
“An organisation that appears to have a heteronormative culture is not one that is going to cut ice with them either as a consumer or an employee,” BBC director of radio and education James Purnell told The Telegraph. “We’re aiming to create the most open, inclusive culture we can.”
Here’s hoping the BBC’s American counterparts soon adopt the same attitude.