People/Biz

UK TV industry shows “serious lack of diversity” in decision-making roles: report

The UK-based Creative Diversity Network (CDN) has released new data during Black History Month showing that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups are still greatly underrepresented in decision making roles across ...
October 13, 2020

The UK-based Creative Diversity Network (CDN) has released new data during Black History Month showing that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups are still greatly underrepresented in decision making roles across the UK television industry.

The figures have been collected by CDN’s Diamond diversity monitoring and reporting system, which is used by the UK’s main broadcasters. The data is based on 30,000 survey responses from workers in the British TV industry.

The report covers such areas as genre, seniority and type of role, primetime vs. other content, and representation of different BAME groups.

Though on-screen representation of BAME individuals continues to improve for most groups, concerns remain about roles behind the camera where contributions to programs made by those who identify as BAME fall below 10% in the majority of senior roles.

Further, the data shows what the CDN calls “a serious shortfall” in representation across background craft roles, with fewer than 5% of roles in costume and wardrobe, hair and make-up and set design filled by those from a BAME group, and fewer than 10% of program contributions in sound and post-production.

Only camera work came close to true representation in behind the scenes roles, with 12.5% of BAME people represented in camera operator roles.

“In spite of advances, it’s clear from the Diamond data that the UK TV industry has a long way to go before it is genuinely representative of its viewers, and particularly in the off-screen and senior working opportunities it offers to people from different ethnic backgrounds,” said Deborah Williams (pictured), chief executive of the Creative Diversity Network, in a statement.

“While we applaud the efforts broadcasters and producers have made to improve on-screen representation, the industry must match this by taking meaningful and sustainable action to increase off-screen diversity.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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