The highlight of last week for us at The TV Collective was undoubtedly the Diversify event held at the posh Bafta building in London’s Piccadilly.

Earlier in the year both Reggie Yates and comedian and UK TV institution Lenny Henry had brought media attention to the lack of Black faces on UK screens, but at this event that assertion was backed up with some hard facts, and addressed with serious debate.

lenny henry at diversify

Creative Skillset’s Employment Census provided a snapshot of those working in the creative media industries on July 4th 2012, and revealed that the number of  people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds working in the creative industries had actually gone down since 2009, declining from 6.7% to 5.4%. (Read our thoughts here)

Introduced by former Labour MP and Diversity Executive at Channel 4 Baroness Oona King, the Diversify event examined this problem of representation from various angles with six panel debates featuring the great and the good from TV and film (including our very own Simone)  spread throughout the day.

 

Simone @_Diversify_039

There was too much said for us to report in full here, but Creative Skillset have put together a rather excellent Storify from the numerous tweets that were sent throughout the day (including some from your’s truly).  You can read that here.

After reading through that, you’ll feel like you were there.

One of the sponsors of the day was industry bible Broadcast magazine.  They too have reported extensively on the day.  Rather than we duplicate their efforts, why not read their article here.

Now you know as much as we do!

On some of those panels there were many regrets expressed, and many positive suggestions put forward. Actor-turned playwrite and theatre director Kwame Kwei Armah went as far as to suggest that the UK should follow the US and employ an enforceable quota system.

Kwame Kwei Armah

There were those at the event who claimed to be drawing up an plan of action to address the racial and gender imbalance in the industry.  Lets hope, as so many expressed on the day, that we don’t find ourselves at a similar event in another five years discussing the same issues.

But rather than wait and see, why not get busy doing for yourselves in the meantime.  Remember that God helps those who help themselves!

LP