British actors and actresses demand an end to ‘systemic racism’ in the UK film industry
In an open letter, U.K. film and television professionals have called for measures in favor of the inclusion of black and brown people in the screen industry, including a financial commitment and more diversity on film sets.
More than 3,500 industry professionals have signed an open letter calling for an end to systemic racism in the U.K. entertainment industry. Internationally renowned British actors have called on directors, producers and writers to be positive partners for change that will finally end structural discrimination in the film industry both in the UK and around the world. David Oyelowo, Michaela Coel, Chiwetel Ejiofor, David Harewood and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are among the many signatories to the politically committed letter.
Along with their black colleagues, large numbers of white actors and actresses have also signed the letter, including such well-known names as Colin Firth, Ralph Fiennes, Ruth Wilson, Ben Whishaw and David Yates.
The initiative was inspired by a similar open letter to the industry in Hollywood signed by more than 125 members of the black community working in the entertainment industry. Signatories to the latest British letter are making four demands. They want the industry to ban “weak excuses,” empower independent producers from the black and brown communities, broaden its vision, and be more demanding with regard to diversity in production teams.
A similar action was launched last week by a team of television professionals from black, Asian and ethnic minority communities, which addressed a letter to British TV channels and broadcasters, which was signed by 700 people. NVG