Equity hosts event to tackle poor portrayal of traveller communities

Equity, in partnership with the Young Vic theatre, hosted a panel event on 21 January with invited industry representatives to address issues of poor representation and portrayal of Gypsy, Romani and Traveller (GRT) communities and people on stage and screen.

Equity is concerned by the multiple problems of portrayal that reflects discriminatory and biased assumptions of GRT lifestyles, and confusion also around accurate representation of the differing cultures represented by GRT communities.

The union is calling for a greater commitment to producing work that accurately depicts GRT communities, and which draws upon authentic portrayal. The union welcomes on-going dialogue with producers, directors and writers on this issue.

Equity’s partnership with the Young Vic is a feature of the theatre’s autumn initiative working with young travellers to write and produce the show Me for the World which will be performed on 6 and 7 March.

Equity’s Equalities and Diversity Organiser, Ian Manborde, said: “We welcome our partnership with the Young Vic as a means to provide a highly visible, national platform to this important feature of the union’s work. We seek to give voice to our GRT members in articulating their valid concerns to an audience drawn from across the entertainment industry.”

Go to www.equity.org.uk/GRT for more information. To read more about the problems of representation faced by GRT communities, see our interview with Richard O'Neill from the Winter 2019 edition of our members' magazine.