Incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation
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Equity supports Acting Up report

11 August 2017

Acting up report

Equity supports the recommendations made in the Labour party’s Acting Up report on making the performing arts more accessible and diverse.

Equity contributed evidence into the inquiry that produced the report and its conclusions reflect the work of the union’s campaigns such as the Manifesto for Casting, Play Fair and Professionally Made Professionally Paid.

The report said that there is a “class shaped hole” in the debate about access to a career in the entertainment industry. It added that: “Looking at protected characteristics is critical but so too is looking at socio-economic background, which strongly intersects with protected characteristics like race and disability.”

Equity’s General Secretary Christine Payne said: “We are acutely aware that there are significant barriers preventing all those from working class backgrounds, including BAME, LGBT+, deaf and disabled and women workers, from accessing and sustaining a career in the creative professions.

"We welcome the conclusions and recommendations of this report and along with our own Manifesto for Casting and Professionally Made, Professionally Paid campaigns we will continue to lobby for change both politically and with employers who directly engage our members. Every talented creative worker must have the chance to contribute to the UK’s entertainment industry and help us continue to make the best theatre, television, film and radio in the world.”

Key findings of the report:

The EBacc measure should be revamped to recognise the benefits of creative subjects in tandem with the importance of core academic subjects. 

The Government should order a review into National Minimum Wage enforcement in the performing arts industry by HMRC. The review should look at illegal pay practices in the performing arts and ensure that the minimum wage is paid to those entitled to it.

Broadcasters, film companies and theatres need to do more to bring on and develop working class and diverse talent in all levels and roles behind the scenes, particularly those in receipt of public funds.

We need to collect comprehensive diversity data across the sector with class background as an essential part of the data. Politicians should spearhead a move to recognise socio-economic disadvantage in law to ensure framework for that data collection.

Download the report.

Coverage in the press:

The Times
The Guardian





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