To increase the representation of women, people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, and disabled people working behind the camera legendary Lenny Henry film and TV stars are calling for tax breaks. Actor and Comedian Lenny Henry and Adrian Lester will hand deliver a letter to 10 Downing Street, joint by several actors and senior figures working in the entertainment business.
The letter reads “People who are working behind the camera play a crucial role in the making of the films without them a film is incomplete. A true representation of the diversity of the UK is not just about what we see on our screens but also the people writing, directing, filming, and working behind the camera. Over the years some of the most important British films and television have been written and directed by Britain’s talented women, BAME and disabled creatives including the award-winning Amma Asante, Sally Wainwright, Gurinder Chadha, Abi Morgan, Steve McQueen, Sharon Horgan, and Michaela Coel. It further added in a letter that they enrich the creativity of the UK and add to our cultural heritage, but unfortunately, they continue to be the expectation rather than the rule”
According to the letter, The British film Institute report found only 3% of people who work in the UK film industry production and post-production are from a BAME background.
The letter generates the emotions of those people and it also says that the tax relief is necessary as diversity in “ important sections of the British entertainment business is in crisis.
The figures for representation of women demonstrate that people of BAME backgrounds and disabled people as “shocking” and cite statistics from Directors UK, which found 2% of British television is made by BAME directors.
It further mentioned that the women made up 13.6% of working film directors in the UK in the past decade despite making up the making up the majority of film students. It said they found just 0.3% of the total UK film workforce and 4.5% of those who work in TV were disabled.
The Signatories has revealed that “ these numbers are shocking. Tax relief is a tried and tested mechanism to increase employment and activity in the UK film industry.”
It further mentioned “ We admire Representation Tax Relief would encourage investment in diverse film and television productions, and boost the growth of UK film and television productions directed, written and filmed by disabled people, women and BAME background people.
Despite the letter released the Signatories said that films and TV productions should be eligible for tax relief if they meet at least three of four possible criteria: The director, writer, and/or director of photography as either a women, of a BAME background or disabled; 50% of staff behind the camera are women; 14% are BAME; 18% are disabled.