Diversity, equity and inclusion

Standing up for respect and equality

The Film and TV Charity is on a journey to develop the support it offers people working behind the scenes. 

Our workforce is increasingly made up of freelancers and temporary contractors whose work can be precarious and uncertain. On top of this, many active industry professionals also face additional barriers related to their background or identity, which further tests their professional, economic, emotional and psychological resilience.

As a result, we took another step in 2020, to redefine our purpose to include a new goal:

to promote equality, diversity and inclusion… by reducing, preventing and discouraging discrimination and the resulting barriers in the film, television or moving image industry.

Barriers and opportunities 

We recognise that not everyone in our industry starts in the same position – with equivalent advantages, resources or opportunities. There are all sorts of barriers tied up with background and identity – barriers that have nothing to with talent and skill. 

These can have an impact on career progress and wellbeing, on the ability to ‘break through’ into the industry, and of course, to stay in it. The health and success of our industry depends on nurturing our workforce, and respecting and valuing natural talent — wherever it comes from. The skills shortages of the last few years make the case for protecting and retaining talent even more compelling.

The shocking reality of 2020

The events of 2020, from COVID to the murder of George Floyd, gave us a renewed sense of urgency. It became clear while setting up and running two COVID funds, that the effects of the pandemic were not being felt in the same way across the whole workforce. 

Those with less financial resilience, and those facing challenges connected to racism, caring responsibilities, socio-economic background and location were among those disproportionately affected. Those facing multiple barriers were worst affected of all. We now know that the support we provide to individuals and the interventions we make to drive structural change must be holistic if they are to affect real life experiences. 

Anti-racism as a priority

The murder of George Floyd and the ensuing conversations among colleagues of colour made it clear that there was an urgent need to prioritise anti-racism in our broader efforts towards equity. 

In 2020, we were joined on secondment by Sasha Salmon, an expert in anti-racism work with an extensive background in Government and civil society. Over six months, Sasha helped us review our processes and policies. With her recommendations, we committed to ringfencing 30% of new grant spend for clients of colour. We also now ringfence 15% for disabled beneficiaries and will review whether to ringfence for other groups in future.

Impact Partnership Programme

We’ve committed to investing £1m over 3 years through our Impact Partnership Programme, which will support the growth and sustainability of community-led organisations providing support for colleagues of colour. We believe that the expertise and insights needed to drive anti-racism exist within communities of colour and so the best response is to back them.

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Reports to ignite a dialogue

Think Piece on Anti-Racism in the UK Film & TV Industry

Sasha Salmon conducted extensive interviews with a wide variety of people working in film and TV to compile an in-depth picture of the lived experience of racism in this publication.

Read the Think Piece

Survey on racial diversity initiatives

Experts Dr Clive Nwonka and Prof. Sarita Malik were commissioned to survey the major racial diversity initiatives in the screen industries over the past few decades and to draw out key lessons and compile a set of recommendations looking to concrete action.

Show me more

These two reports and the first-hand insights and analysis they share will ignite and help guide conversations between colleagues of colour and key organisations about how to make meaningful progress towards anti-racism. We’re excited to play our part in this.

What’s next in our drive for equality?

This anti-racism work is the first part of a comprehensive, holistic and intersectional response to the barriers faced by all marginalised groups in the TV and film industry. We’re looking forward to working with our colleagues across the industry to collaborate on this important work. 

Discover more

Support we offer

You may have a problem or question at any time, day or night. That’s why we bring you a 24/7 Support Line which is free and confidential for anyone in the community working behind the scenes in film, TV and cinema.

Get in touch

Freelancer Wellbeing Hub

You can complete your Wellbeing Check-In quiz, to get tailored tips and advice, plus you’ll find plenty of information to support your wellbeing at work.

Explore the hub

Experienced of witnessed bullying?

Bullying in all its forms can be incredibly damaging. If it’s happened to you or you’ve seen it happen to others, it’s probably affected your mental health. We’re here to help figure it out.

Take the first steps