Ed Vaizey, UK Minister for UK Culture, Communications and Creative Industries is calling on senior figures in TV, film and arts to explain the lack of diversity in their industries at a ministerial roundtable next week.
Fresh analysis of Skillset census data has shown that between 2004 and 2006, the reported number of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals (BAME) in the UK television industry rose by 81% - whereas in the six years between 2006 and 2012 there was a 31% decline.
In an invitation for the event, being held next Wednesday (22 January), Vaizey said that specific measures must be put in place to improve the situation. Those attending include executives from the major broadcasters along with Pact, Creative Skillset, the BFI and Arts Council England.
“I would like to hear from you about the barriers to BAME individuals entering and progressing within your industries, your experience of what works in overcoming those barriers, and what more you think the industry could do, working together, to increase BAME representation,” he said.
The Creative Skillset Employment Census, published on 12 July 2013, showed that almost 2,000 BAME people have left the industries since 2009 - reducing the representation to just 5.4% of the total workforce.
“I am keen to discuss …what lies behind these headline figures and what data you collect and report,” said Vaizey.
Campaign for Broadcasting Equality
Separately, Simon Albury, former RTS chief executive, is launching his Campaign for Broadcasting Equality in the spring.
Albury said the campaign, comprising lobbying, research and event-based activity, will work towards the elimination of racial discrimination in broadcasting.
“It will provide a voice for BAME viewers and for all people who want to see a fair balance of employment that reflects the BAME balance in the population where enterprises are based,” said Albury. “The Creative Diversity Network has a vital role to play but what’s also needed is a pressure group that can be both critic and cheerleader.”
Simon Albury asks “Will diversity in creative industries be Ed Vaizey’s enduring legacy?” in this week’s Broadcast magazine