Actors call for tax relief to boost diversity in TV and film

Sir Lenny Henry, as well as other prominent TV and film stars, are calling for tax relief for production companies to encourage them to employ women, disabled individuals and people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds

Henry delivered a letter to 10 Downing Street calling for tax relief to help boost diversity behind the camera. Other signatories include Dame Emma Thompson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jodie Whittaker, Thandie Newton and David Oyelowo.

The letter stated: ‘True representation of the diversity of the UK is not just about what we see on our screens, but also the people writing, directing, filming and working behind the camera.

‘Over the years, some of the most important British films and television have been written and directed by Britain’s talented female, BAME and disabled creatives…They enrich the creativity of the UK and add to our cultural heritage, but unfortunately they continue to be the exception rather than the rule.’

The letter also includes evidence from a report by Directors UK which found that only 2% of UK TV is made by directors from BAME backgrounds.

The letters signatories have stated that production companies should be eligible for the proposed tax relief if they meet at least three of the following criteria:

  • The director, writer and/or director of photography is either a woman, of a BAME background or disabled;
  • 50% of staff behind the camera are women;
  • 14% are BAME;
  • or 18% are disabled.

Report by Amy Austin


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