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Joint statement by Equity and the RSC

2 November 2012

Equity and the RSC met earlier this week to discuss the lack of employment opportunities for East Asian talent across the entertainment industry and how the industry can collectively address this situation going forward. Equity welcomed the RSC’s willingness to openly discuss concerns that had been raised by a number of Equity members about the casting of The Orphan of Zhao. Equity also welcomed the RSC’s restatement of its commitment to working with industry colleagues to ensure that East Asian talent becomes more visible on UK stages.

Equity and the RSC have committed to working together to identify action that can be taken across the industry to bring East Asian talent to the attention of casting directors and to promote the employment of East Asian performers. The RSC lent its support to Equity’s call for an industry- wide event designed to facilitate greater understanding of the particular issues affecting the casting of East Asian performers, and how the industry can best address issues of invisibility. RSC Casting Director Hannah Miller and RSC Producer Kevin Fitzmaurice said “The RSC acknowledge this important issue, and look forward to being proactively involved in any further discussions and planned future events.”

Daniel York, Vice-Chair of Equity’s Minority Ethnic Members Committee, said of the meeting “issues were aired and the focus is now very much on the future across the whole industry.”

Equity General Secretary, Christine Payne, said “It is clear to everyone that there is massive under-representation of East Asian citizens in UK drama and as a result significant under-employment for Equity’s East Asian members. This is an issue which goes across the industry. Equity staff and members are now raising this matter with both employers and funding bodies and is calling for urgent action.”

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