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Film and Television: Equality

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL6090, tabled on 23 June 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage greater diversity in UK film and TV.

Answered on

3 July 2020

Encouraging greater diversity in UK film and TV is a priority for government, and from our engagement with the cultural and creative sectors - including a roundtable hosted by my colleague Caroline Dineage on the impact of Covid-19 on diversity in these areas - we recognise that this issue has been under greater scrutiny in recent weeks.

We are working with the British Film Institute (BFI), in their role as the Government’s arm’s length body with responsibility for the sector, to improve representation both on and off screen, including through supporting the wider adoption of the BFI’s world-leading Diversity Standards. In addition, we are seeking to identify and promote best practice; through our sponsorship of the National Film and TV School, we have recently provided an additional £65,000 to support students from diverse backgrounds and we are also engaging with industry to drive change on the ground. In January this year, DCMS launched the ScreenSkills Apprenticeship Pilot with industry partners Netflix and Warner Media. Recruitment will focus on underrepresented groups within the sector and will not consider previous qualifications as a key recruitment criteria - thereby providing opportunities to people from all backgrounds.

We welcome the work Ofcom has undertaken through their annual diversity reports and the work of Project Diamond, an initiative supported by the broadcasters, which captures diversity data and the Creative Industries Council’s recent Diversity Charter. The Government continues to encourage employers to publish diversity data not because they have to but because it is the right thing to do.