Directors UK report makes for bleak reading
A report from Directors UK called UK Television: Adjusting the Colour Balance has come up with some pretty definitive findings about the under-representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) directors.
The report concludes that only 1.5% of UK television is made by a BAME director, with further indications of the under-employment within the industry.
The research was backed by a large sample of popular programmes made in-house at the BBC and ITV, as well as several indie production companies. In total, 546 programme titles were sampled, comprising over 55,000 episodes up to the end of 2013.
BAME directors have been found to be given a far smaller proportion of directing opportunities in specific genres of programme-making, with drama, comedy and entertainment were found to be lacking in directors of black, Asian or minority ethnic background.
The team also found that the proportion of programming made by BAME directors in 2013 was 1.29% - a drop from a pre-2011 figure of 1.67%.
Further analysis at sub-genre level revealed there are a number of areas where no episodes at all had been made by BAME directors.
The organisation released the following infographic alongside the report:
Menhaj Huda, diversity chair at Directors UK, said: "Our report findings are both shocking and concerning. It reveals what many of us in the industry have been aware of for some time, but now we have hard evidence to show just how serious the lack of diversity in television really is for directors.
"Sustaining a career for any director is difficult enough as it is, but when the perception of BAME directors is that they are less able, less experienced and less competent, then it becomes virtually impossible, regardless of talent. Our report shows that getting work in television is inaccessible for far too many and there is a failure to provide any kind of support for BAME talent".
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