Play Fair is Equity’s campaign to challenge the industry on the persistent under-representation of diversity, and discriminatory practice in the casting process.
The lack of diversity on our stages, screens, airwaves and online is one of the biggest issues our industry faces, and members from diverse backgrounds have fewer working opportunities as a result – making lack of diversity an industrial priority for Equity.
Play Fair highlights Equity’s policy statement on inclusive casting which 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
Equity wants to see more employers:
• Play Fair on inclusive casting – to deliver more diversity on stage, screen, online and on-air
• Play Fair with the law – members routinely share their experiences of poor and potentially illegal practice
• Play Fair on accessibility – too little thought is given to ensuring disabled actors have equality of opportunity in the casting process
• Play Fair and monitor – more employers need to monitor the diversity of their performers so that we can measure progress
Equity has recently produced a Manifesto for Casting and a Casting Questions Card that outline how employers, agents and casting directors can ensure they are acting inclusively and within the law when they represent, audition and employ actors.
The union has a strong track record over past decades in campaigning against discrimination and prejudice, from campaigning against racism including colour bars and segregated audiences, to pay inequality and coining the term ‘integrated casting’ in 1967. Women, Deaf and Disabled and LGBT actors playing a variety of roles is also a priority.
We will use the campaign to:
• Promote inclusive casting with employers and celebrate great examples giving credit where it’s due
• Challenge poor practice in the casting process
• Raise awareness through the wider industry about its legal duties
• Reflect our position through Equity contracts as and when they are renegotiated
• Everyone can support the campaign, whether it’s as an Equity member, through your local Equity branch or as an employer