Cho recognizes that creating an inclusive working environment, showcasing diverse stories and artists, and reaching out to multicultural audiences is not just the right thing to do—it’s good business. As a result, he has found opportunities to expand the company’s footprint in traditionally underserved areas and invest and partner with diverse business services. This year, Cho is at the center of the business development strategy for the company’s multicultural streaming and content offerings—namely ALLBLK, the first streaming service dedicated to Black TV and film. His work as Executive Champion for the Asian American Culture Network recently had him participating in a panel discussion on the Asian American experience. “We talked about the uptick in violence we’ve seen against Asian Americans in connection with COVID-19,” he said. “We shot the panel and made it available to our entire company and it led to a number of emotionally resonant and important conversations I’ve been able to have with colleagues.”
Do you think there has been significant progress on DEI in the industry in the past year?
Yes, but there is always more work to do. The fact that we’re seeing progress in all sides of the industry (behind the camera, onscreen, on the business side, hiring practices and promotions, etc.) is encouraging. I’m proud of the initiatives I’ve seen our company participate in and implement, including hiring our first Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer who reports to our CEO, in addition to financial support that we’ve given, with the buy-in of our employees, to great organizations fighting for and supporting BIPOC communities. But, more importantly, I’ve experienced and seen the progress firsthand in the countless one on one conversations I’ve had with colleagues, friends and others in the industry about how we can do better. And I’ve appreciated and been encouraged by the others who have reached out to me directly in response to the violence we’ve been seeing against Asian Americans.
Best initiative to come out of one of your company’s Employee Resource Groups?
I moderated a panel hosted by our Asian American ERG that I serve as Executive Champion of with U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng, Angela Kang, showrunner of “The Walking Dead,” as well as AiLun Ku, President and CEO of The Opportunity Network, where we talked about the uptick in violence we’ve seen against Asian Americans in connection with COVID-19. We shot the panel and made it available to our entire company and it led to a number of emotionally resonant and important conversations I’ve been able to have with colleagues.
Favorite current show that you feel embraces D&I?
I hate to toot our own horn, but I’m loving the final season of “The Walking Dead,” which has always done a great job of organically weaving diversity into the storyline without feeling like the show was just “checking boxes.” Seeing lead characters on one of the biggest shows on television showcase the humanity and heroism of characters who just so happen to be diverse has always been inspiring and made me proud to be a part of the AMC Networks’ family.