Monday, May 20, 2024

Unscripted Television Takes on Climate Change With New Advisory Committee

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Numerous efforts have been aimed at making movies and television series more sustainable. The latest tackles unscripted television’s impact.

Reality of Change, an eco-entertainment organization founded by Cyle Zezo, former VP and head of alternative programming at The CW, has partnered with the nonprofit group Rare to leverage unscripted TV in promoting climate solutions on-screen. Rare’s Entertainment Lab, which supports writers, producers, and creators focused on climate narratives, will collaborate with Reality of Change to influence the industry’s approach to environmental storytelling. It’s the latest effort to make Hollywood more eco-friendly.

The partnership’s immediate goal is to form an advisory committee that includes non-scripted production companies and creative professionals. This committee will help steer the industry toward sustainability by gathering and analyzing climate and sustainability research, industry trends, audience impact, and relevant scientific findings.

“Climate change is reality, and to shine a light on this global issue, we believe there is no entertainment sector better suited to showing climate solutions on screen than unscripted television,” Zezo said. “We want to answer the call of both the creative community and the audiences we serve who are looking for action to be taken, who want to become more engaged and are demanding more from their entertainment.”

Reality show Love Is Blind cast Season 7.
Reality show Love Is Blind cast Season 7 | Courtesy Netflix

“As we set out to establish our advisory coalition, the response has been overwhelming, with 24 production companies already committed, far exceeding our initial expectations, and several others ready to join,” Zezo continued. “By expanding our resources and research, we want to ensure that we do it in a way that is efficient, supportive and specifically meaningful to the unscripted television industry as a whole.”

Ellis Watamanuk, senior director of Rare’s Entertainment Lab, reflected on the growing public awareness and media representation of climate issues, noting that as the world grapples with “a quickly, dangerously changing climate,” and as more Americans recognize that climate change is happening, “it’s only natural to see these themes and solutions appearing in unscripted content.”

According to Watamanuk, over the past few years, climate and sustainability messaging have appeared in “big and small ways on our screens — from cooking to home renovation, from fashion to dating.” Data from Rare’s Entertainment Lab show that 70 percent of Americans want to see more climate-friendly activity in movies and television shows. With the new initiative, the groups will be able to pool resources to make climate action on and off the screen more efficient and cost-effective.

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