Less than two per cent of UK TV writers are Black, study finds

“In spite of advances, it’s clear from the data that the UK TV industry has a long way to go"

A new study has revealed that less than two per cent of TV writers in the UK identify as Black.

The study, conducted by the Creative Diversity Network, surveyed 30,000 people and found that just 1.6 per cent of respondents who were UK TV writers were Black, while 2.4 per cent of production executives and 4.4 of series producers identify as BAME.

Commenting on the resulting data, Creative Diversity Network’s executive director Deborah Williams said: “In spite of advances, it’s clear from the data that the UK TV industry has a long way to go before it is genuinely representative of its viewers, and particularly in the off-screen and senior working opportunities it offers to people from different ethnic backgrounds.

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“While we applaud the efforts broadcasters and producers have made to improve on-screen representation, the industry must match this by taking meaningful and sustainable action to increase off-screen diversity.”

The survey also showed that on-screen contributions from people of colour have increased from 21.8 to 22.7 per cent since 2017, but Williams also said more needed to be done.

“You can fix that problem really easily by finding lots of Black and brown people to put on your screen. But where’s the depth in that? How do you make sure that it continues? Where does that go?” Williams asked, urging for sustained change across the industry.

The survey acknowledges the success of Michaela Coel’s hit show I May Destroy You as well as Steve McQueen’s forthcoming BBC film anthology Small Axe, but acknowledges there is still progress that needs to be made.

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