At last week Bafta’s event Lenny Henry gave TV’s diversity debate a shot in the arm.
While recognising that the broadcasters all have plans and actions in place that will make a difference, Lenny’s central call was for Ofcom to mandate ring-fenced funding for BAME productions. This may divide opinion but there can be no debate about the scale of the challenge if we are to reach the point where the industry reflects and benefits creatively from the diversity of the UK.
The recent Directors UK’s research makes painfully clear the scale of the challenge: just 1.5% of the programmes in their sample had been made by BAME directors. The industry is missing out on talent in a big way. And the pattern of BAME talent being under-represented is repeated for others groups, such as disabled people.
CDN members are determined to speed up the pace of change. Last week CDN’s Board – which is made up of some of the most senior figures from across our membership – discussed CDN’s strategy for the next three years. There are a lot of things already happening to widen access at entry level so a key part of our future approach will focus on ensuring people from under-represented groups can progress and flourish.