CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler has acknowledged that she has made a conscious decision to cast African-Americans in lead roles on the network's shows. Such was the case, she indicated, when Laurence Fishburne was given a starring role on CSI and such was also the case when Forest Whitaker was tapped for a leading role in the Criminal Minds spinoff (no title has been announced) due to air next season. "Diversity has always been a priority," Tassler told today's (Friday) Hollywood Reporter. "It is a conscious choice across the board to pay attention and to add diversity any way we can. Whitaker was also the best actor for the job." But when the trade publication pointed out that CBS received a failing grade from the gay organization GLAAD for its failure to include gay characters in its shows, Tassler responded. "We're conscious of that as well. This year one of our pilots, Quinn-tuplets , has gay characters. Any series can. This year we made a concerted effort to suggest to producers, if not in pilot, then as we go forward [that they include gay characters]."

05/03/2010