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Working Class Representation In UK Film & TV At Lowest Level For A Decade – Research

Working class representation in UK film and TV is at its lowest level for a decade, according to new research.

The Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre found that just one in 12 people now working in film, TV and radio are from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. According to the government’s latest social mobility barometer, around half of the UK population consider themselves working class.

Revealed by Channel 4 News, the research said that 60% of those working in film, TV and radio are from middle or upper class backgrounds.

The proportion of working class people in UK TV and film is half that of music and the performing arts, although this 16% figure is still miles behind the population’s overall average.

The damning research could act as a wake up call to an industry that has launched multiple diversity programs over the past few years to help those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, with the BBC in particular focusing heavily on this portion of the population.

The Channel 4 News report that revealed the research aired interviews with a documentary filmmaker, Sam Oddie, who said he “struggles to do what he loves full time” as a working class creative, adding that “despite talk of leveling up, most [UK] creatives are still based in London.” “People from working class backgrounds don’t have the belief to go for what they want to do in their career,” he said.

Meanwhile, a young actor, Samira Ahmed, who is also deaf, said attending drama school was a “traumatic experience,” coming a few months after a Deadline investigation uncovered nearly 100 complaints in UK drama schools about sexual harassment, discrimination, and bullying over the past three years. “Everyone there was predominantly white, middle class and posh,” she added.

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