Equity President slams quality of equality and diversity research in TV

Equity President Maureen Beattie has heavily criticised the Creative Diversity Network's (CDN) recent research, saying the report flies in the face of the lived experience of members and believes it is "at best erroneous and at worst downright dangerous". Read the full statement below:

"Equity disputes the underlying methodology used by the Creative Diversity Network (CDN) in its recently released research on diversity and equality in the TV broadcast industry.

We do not recognise the positive claims made about improved figures for women, BAME and LGBT+ performers.

This is not an authoritative set of data for many reasons. The results are drawn from only 28% of returns, which is too small a sample. There is no ​detail about the characters ​played and whether the roles are simply perpetuating stereotypes​, nor is there any indication of the importance of the roles played or the amount of time each performer spends on our screens. Are they leading roles, supporting roles, cameo roles, or are they providing the background to the main action? 

Equity members tell us​ - when they are asked to supply their data for this research - there is a lack of information about its purpose and how the use of their data will help improve on-screen portrayal. ​We believe there is now little faith in Project Diamond among our members. This report flies in the face of their lived experience and feels at best erroneous and at worst downright dangerous.

Equity has been working with CDN to try and achieve meaningful research. We have consistently questioned the methodology employed by CDN and offered to work constructively in improving the return rates from our members.

Unfortunately, with the release of this deeply flawed research, the union does not believe there can be an ongoing dialogue between the union and CDN using this current methodology.

We will be releasing our own data on 25 March at the launch of the Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity at Birmingham City University, which contradicts the CDN research."