Jewish, Arab, and Muslim workers in film and TV call for action as survey identifies serious decline to their mental health

94% of respondents had experienced a deterioration in their mental health or psychological and emotional wellbeing since October 7th 
27 February 2024 

A survey by the Film and TV Charity has concluded a series of roundtable discussions between senior leaders from all the major UK broadcasters and industry bodies and representatives of the British Muslim, Arab, and Jewish communities working in the film and TV industry. 

  • Survey shows 94% of Muslim, Jewish, and Arab people working in UK film and TV experienced a deterioration in their mental health following the attacks of October 7th and subsequent humanitarian crisis
  • Charity convened roundtable meetings with industry bodies, broadcasters, streamers, and broadcast news organisations where senior Muslim, Jewish, and Arab industry figures called for greater employer support
  • The Film and TV Charity conducted the only survey of Jewish, Arab, and Muslim UK-based film and TV workers into their experience of antisemitism and Islamophobia and the impact on their mental health following the attacks of October 7th, the conflict in Gaza, and resulting humanitarian crisis
  • Film and TV Charity to release interim report and wider survey data in March

The discussions were based on an exclusive survey conducted by the Film and TV Charity into the experiences of people of Jewish, Muslim, and Arab heritage after the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7th 2023, the subsequent conflict in Gaza, and the unfolding humanitarian crisis that has followed.

In five sessions with senior representatives of broadcasters, production companies, newsroom executives, industry bodies, and organisational EDI leads, the Charity facilitated separate discussions with senior Jewish representatives working in film and TV, and senior Muslim and Arab representatives working in film and TV (ten roundtables in total). The two groups separately presented qualitative and quantitative data from the Charity’s survey, combined with their own personal experiences. Each group also called on the industry to take action to address serious concerns around antisemitism, Islamophobia, and the impacts on mental health following the attacks of October 7th, the conflict in Gaza, and the resulting humanitarian crisis.


of respondents had experienced a deterioration in their mental health or psychological and emotional wellbeing since October 7th

Disturbingly, the survey highlighted that 94% of respondents had experienced a deterioration in their mental health or psychological and emotional wellbeing since October 7th, (92% of Jewish respondents and 95% of Muslim and Arab respondents) with less than a quarter (24%) of all respondents feeling supported by their employers.

A broader analysis of the full survey will be published by the Charity in late March as part of an interim report which will also explore the points of discussion raised by both the Jewish, Muslim, and Arab representatives, as well as their respective calls for action.

Marcus Ryder, CEO at the Film and TV Charity, said: In November last year, we committed to exploring the mental health and wellbeing of people affected by the conflict and unfolding humanitarian crisis taking place in Israel and Gaza. This followed an unprecedented rise in antisemitic incidents in the UK being recorded by the Metropolitan Police, one that has been underlined by more recent data from the Community Security Trust. The conflict has also highlighted longstanding systemic problems relating to historical issues of Islamophobia and what is believed to be serious underrepresentation of the UK’s Muslim population in the British film and TV industry.

Our survey has only served to underline that the conflict and ongoing events in the UK are having a real impact on the mental health of people in our industry, and it is the Charity’s job to ensure that we recognise that and tailor our support accordingly, as well as helping other organisations to do the same.

The roundtable sessions have given representatives of the Jewish community in the industry, and representatives of Muslim and Arab industry workers, the chance to bring a vital conversation to industry leaders. They have also created an important opportunity for constructive, cross-industry dialogue and there was general consensus that a collective response to the issues raised was needed. The sessions were the first stage in a critical, complex, and much-needed conversation, and we are so grateful to everyone who has taken the time to participate. We will be publishing our interim report, which goes deeper into these issues, in due course, but for now we want to give sincere thanks to everyone who took part in our survey and who consequently informed such a robust discussion. Without their honest, raw testimony – which we know isn’t offered lightly – this work wouldn’t be possible.”

Kelly Webb-Lamb, CEO and Founder at Mothership Productions and Trustee of the Jewish Museum London, Hilary Rosen, Director of Commissioning at UKTV and Chair of the BAFTA TV Committee, and Anna Mishcon, Executive at the Film and TV Charity, who were part of the group presenting the views of the industry’s Jewish community at the roundtables, added: Many Jewish colleagues across the industry have struggled enormously since the massacres of October 7th. We are grateful to the Charity for convening a safe space for us to discuss our concerns with our industry leaders and share our urgent recommendations for positive change. With their allyship and commitment, we hope that the mental health and wellbeing of Jewish colleagues across the industry can show dramatic improvement, and that we can unite to tackle the significant impact of anti-Jewish racism.”

Aaqil Ahmed, media consultant and former Head of Religion and Ethics at the BBC, Fozia Khan, Head of Unscripted, UK Originals at Amazon MGM Studios, and Fadah Jassem, Senior Producer at Al Jazeera and AI advisor, who were part of the group of Muslim industry representatives presenting the views of Muslim and Arab industry workers at the meetings, said: The work undertaken with the Film and TV Charity has, for many people of Muslim and Arab backgrounds, finally given them an opportunity to express how they feel in work and how they feel they have been affected both mentally and career-wise by their work environment. The survey results and wider conversations are sobering and, hopefully, a wakeup call for all of us in the film and TV industries to reflect on how people feel and an opportunity to address many of the issues raised, from representation on air to fairness and support in the workplace.

We are all grateful not just to the Charity for having the foresight to do this work, but also to the senior industry leaders for engaging in a collaborative and thoughtful process to try and make a difference. This is just the beginning of dialogue and understanding that we all hope will deliver a better, more representative environment and one that we can all be comfortable and proud to work in.”

The Charity’s interim report on its survey results, and further communications, will be published in late March.

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We recognise that the issues raised by these discussions are challenging. If you are affected, the Film and TV Charity’s 24/7 Support Line is available to you and anyone in the industry feeling under pressure during these difficult times.

Call 0800 054 0000