ViacomCBS’ MTV Entertainment Group is committing $250 million over the next three years to fuel the growth of content led and produced by BIPOC (Black, indigenous and people of color) and women-owned and operated production companies.
According to a press release, as part of this newly formed studio, MTV Entertainment — whose portfolio includes MTV and VH1 — will provide funding, production infrastructure, services and staff to foster new creative, formats and ideas that will fuel the unscripted content needs of today and tomorrow.
Unscripted executive producers Lashan Browning and Adam Gonzalez were brought in last year to pilot the group’s initiative. They have already been producing and creating unscripted content and will form their own respective third-party production ventures with an equity investment made by MTV Entertainment.
Unscripted has been the lifeblood of MTV — the cable channel basically created reality television with “The Real World.”
Browning, who began her career working for Spike Lee and went on to become part of the start-up team for Oxygen, executive produced the previous season of “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” and “Cartel Crew.” Gonzalez executive produced VH1’s “Teyana & Iman,” “America’s Next Top Model” and “Mob Wives,” where he first worked with MTV Entertainment’s Nina L. Diaz, who is president of content and chief creative officer.
“As a former showrunner, this endeavor is something very close to my heart,” Diaz said as part of Thursday’s announcement. “Having come up on the production side where this kind of pipeline didn’t exist, it is a great privilege to help launch a new generation of creative powerhouses into production ownership.”
The MTV Entertainment Group has previously pledged to create 50 films with ViacomCBS’ First Time Directors Program for BIPOC and Women filmmakers. Through that deal, MTV has executive-producing partnerships in place with Angela Bassett, Courtney B. Vance, Idris Elba, Salma Hayek, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, John Leguizamo and Eva Longoria.