Recall the groundbreaking doc “Surviving R. Kelly,” which not only caught the attention of a massive audience, but serves as the cornerstone for Lifetime’s new “Surviving” programming series? Bryant not only greenlit the project, but also oversaw follow-up special “Surviving R. Kelly: The Impact.” Aside from overseeing some of the network’s most successful unscripted franchises, she works closely with Queen Latifah on a development deal that includes several documentary series. How can diversity be better incorporated into the recruiting process? “Unfortunately, sometimes what you don’t ask for, you don’t get,” she says. “Make the request as much of an ask, as it is a directive.”
How can diversity be better incorporated into the recruiting process?
Unfortunately, sometimes what you don’t ask for, you don’t get. Make the request as much of an ask, as it is a directive. And to be transparent, there have been times when I have asked and the request wasn’t honored. And that’s OK, because it means we just go back to the drawing board because I simply just ask again. Try it- it works!
Can you share a successful diversity program at your company or one you’ve observed at another company or organization?
I’m in love with Lifetime’s Broader Focus program, a major global initiative dedicated to supporting and hiring female directors, writers and producers, including women of color to make our content. Look, Lifetime is a network that’s committed its entire platform to telling women’s stories. It makes as much sense to make sure we’re making the same kind of commitment to the people who get to make these stories come alive behind the camera as well…
Which current television shows best embrace diversity?
“Insecure,” “Pose,” “Black-ish,” “Fresh Off the Boat” and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the impact that “Surviving R. Kelly” has had on our culture…
I’m also excited to see Kenya Barris’ “Mixed-Ish.” Over the years we have seen some depictions of mixed-race couples…We’ve had Ricky and Lucy (“I Love Lucy”) and Tom and Helen Willis (“The Jeffersons”) and Olivia and Fitz (“Scandal”) and Mindy and Danny (“The Mindy Project”) and some others for sure. But I can’t remember the last time I saw anyone explore a mixed-race childhood. I’m ready for it!