WHAT WE DO
Equity has produced a policy statement on inclusive casting to help producers and casting directors ensure that a broad and diverse base is drawn from for all our onscreen, on air and onstage talent: http://www.equity.org.uk/documents/inclusive-casting-policy-statement/
- Work with members, employers, industry partners and networks to support better communication with and visibility of the diverse talent we know exists amongst our membership.
- Work with allied organisations and campaigns also pressing for greater diversity and cultural change in the arts including Act for Change (http://www.act-for-change.com/ ), PIPA (http://www.pipacampaign.com/), ERA (http://equalrepresentationforactresses.co.uk/ ) and sister unions in the Federation of Entertainment Unions
- Negotiate with employers to ensure that as and when Equity contracts are re-negotiated that the principles of Equity’s Inclusive Casting Policy Statement are reflected in those new contracts
The policy specifically calls for:
- More incidental casting – where the identity of the actor is incidental to the character opening up more opportunities to cast more diversely
- Greater authenticity when diversity is relevant to the role – for example, more disabled actors playing disabled characters
- Greater legal compliance with equality law
WHAT EMPLOYERS CAN DO
➢ Use incidental casting and ask yourself the question, “Why Not?” rather than “Why?”
Do….. Select ‘any’ when requesting appearance in a casting breakdown e.g. regarding ethnicity or disability. You can only specify a particular appearance lawfully, if you can justify that it is a genuine occupational requirement of the role or absolutely necessary for artistic vision.
Why ? The population, workforce and audiences of the UK are now very diverse. An inclusive approach to casting ensures that all practice is lawful, and that all talent can access work opportunities and be seen on stage and screen. While in very limited circumstances there may be a reason to hire someone of a particular appearance, for the most part, there are very few genuine occupational requirements for casting in TV, Film and in commercials. Be imaginative.
Example: Article about the casting of the new Brideshead Revisited adaptation by Bryony Lavery
WHAT MEMBERS CAN DO
Why? We want to give credit where it’s due and highlight great examples of inclusive and incidental casting to inspire others in the industry to achieve more in this area
Do… Have you been asked to complete a form at a casting which asks inappropriate questions? Take a picture on your phone and send us a copy
Why? We can raise those examples on behalf of members and influence to stop this practice