CBS Entertainment executives grilled over lack of diversity and female leads

Kelly Kahl, president of CBS Entertainment. “We hear the same thing, year after year,” said one reporter.They also addressed the recent salary flap that resulted in the departure of Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park from “Hawaii Five-O,” with Kahl noting that they had offered the actors “a lot of money to stick around.”   Both Kahl and Sherman — who inherited the upcoming fall slate from previous CBS Entertainment President Glenn Geller, who stepped down for health reasons earlier this year — appeared caught off-guard when one reporter pointed out that the network’s casting departments on the East and West coasts were   all white.When asked if that had an impact on casting, both honchos denied that played a part and had cast many actors of color in the past. summer tour Tuesday in Beverly Hills.CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl   and Thom Sherman, senior executive vice president of programming, insisted that diversity was an important issue and   that they had made strides on that front.But the two execs continued to be peppered with questions by reporters who said CBS showed little interest in casting minorities in lead roles. But Sherman said there were plans to expand the department.When this   reporter asked why a creator of a project that showcased the multiculturalism of America would pitch CBS given the network’s track record, Kahl seemed taken aback.”I don’t know how to answer that,” he said.Kahl   said that, while the speed of the network’s progress is debatable, “There is change happening at CBS.”MORE:CBS continues to bypass people of color and females for leading roles in its new fall showsCBS launches casting diversity initiativeSix new CBS series, six white male leads. (Cliff Lipson / CBS)Top CBS   programming executives ran into a buzzsaw of questions and criticism over the network’s continued lack of progress over casting people of color and females in leading and key roles on its   shows   during its   executive session at the Television Critics Assn. With prime-time diversity growing, how did the network fall behind? Latest updates