The Creative Diversity Network and the RTS have joined forces to host discussions around diversity in film and TV across the UK.
The first event – “The network speaks: beyond tokenism” – took place in Cardiff in early June to a full house of programme-makers from Wales’ unscripted production community, who took part in an in-depth conversation about diversity and representation on-screen.
The series of discussions aims to take the conversation about disability out of London and change how the industry works for everyone. It will focus on local issues and solutions, generated through intimate, accessible and open discussions.
Such honesty can be revealing, showing how nuanced and subtle cultural values in broadcasting can inadvertently exclude viewers, particularly from ethnic minority groups. As one contributor put it, “Gardening programmes appeal to a white, middle-class audience – but some viewers might say, ‘Who needs a garden anyway? Asians don’t do gardening we just concrete over it.’”
The session highlighted potential solutions to address issues around stereotyping, trust, legacy, outreach and fear.
One worker explained how he had to hide his disability to get a job in TV. Another described a fear of being “stitched-up” by producers, arguing that role models can help to change perceptions and increase trust.
Creative Diversity Network CEO Deborah Williams thanked RTS Wales for partnering with her organisation: “I enjoyed the day immensely and felt it was a resounding success. I hope they all continue in this vain and are as productive as this one in Cardiff.”