A new study has revealed the harsh reality of the racial inequality in British TV, which is that less than 2% of writers are Black.
Creative Diversity Network conducted a survey of 30,000 people and found that a staggeringly low 1.6% of UK TV writers identify as Black, while just 2.4% of production executives and 4.4% of series producers are part of the Bame (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) community.
The figures are even more bleak within the industry when it comes to ‘craft’ jobs, including set design and sound engineering, as CDN said there are so few roles being occupied by the Bame community that they were unable to collect enough data to publish.
Addressing the research, CDN’s executive director Deborah Williams said: ‘In spite of advances, it’s clear from the 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.
‘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.’
Michaela Coel scored a huge win recently with her BBC series I May Destroy You, one of the most critically-acclaimed shows on British TV this year.
Sir Steve McQueen is also set to debut his anthology series, Small Axe, in November featuring stories about the trials and tribulations of the West Indian community in London between the 1960s and 1980s.
The findings come after Vicar of Dibley star Dawn French said white TV writers should be able to write from the perspective of a non-white person.
During her interview on The Andrew Marr Show, the comedian explained: ‘If we started to police who you can write in fiction, I think that is a hiding to nowhere, really.
‘For me, my lived experience is in a multicultural family, so the norm for me is to write any colour I like. Obviously if you are a Black person you can write with a more authentic black voice, you most certainly can, but I can imagine any person I like.’