TV and Movies

U.K. Crew Union Bectu Release Results of Racism in Broadcasting Survey, Pens Open Letter to Regulator


British crew union Bectu has released the results of its latest survey, which shows that racism is still prevalent in the broadcasting industry.

Conducted in partnership with the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity, the survey also found that reporting mechanisms were “largely ineffective.”

Among the findings of the survey were that 61% of global majority respondants had experienced racism at work and 59% had witnessed it. (The term “global majority,” Bectu explain, means “People who are Black, Asian, Brown, dual-heritage, indigenous to the global south, and or have been racialised as ‘ethnic minorities’. In using this collective term, we recognise that these ethnicities are often defined in the UK as ‘minority,’ but that globally, they make up the majority.”)

In a statement, Bectu also said “little progress has been made” in establishing an independent racism reporting body in the broadcasting industry.

The union has also penned an open letter to broadcasting regulator Ofcom, in which they call on the organization to “publicly lend your support to our campaign and join us to put pressure on UK broadcasters to work with unions and formulate an independent reporting body.”

It has been signed by industry leaders including Marcus Ryder, chair of Campaign for Broadcasting Equality Simon Albury and Jake Wiafe from YouTube documentary channel Real Stories.

The full letter can be read and signed here.

“Our findings confirm that reporting of racism in the broadcasting sector, and the handling of reports, remains inadequate and it’s clear that reform is desperately needed,” said Philippa Childs, head of Bectu, in a statement. “Our survey particularly demonstrates that more work is needed to educate people about subtle forms of racism, including micro aggressions, that remain rife in the sector.”

“This latest survey indicates that little has changed since we last called for an independent racism reporting body and highlights the pressing need for such a body. Everyone, unions included, need to do better in helping to stamp out racism in the industry and this can only be done through collaboration and partnership between UK broadcasters and entertainment unions.”

“It is now the job of industry leaders to listen to our demands and formulate a racism reporting body. It is not too late to tackle racism in broadcasting, and we will maintain pressure until we see real progress.”

Marcus Ryder, head of external consultancies at the Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity, added: “All the evidence suggests that there is serious underreporting of racism in British broadcasting. If we want to maintain and grow a world class film television industry, we must create an environment in which everyone can thrive. An independent racism reporting body would be an important step in achieving that.”





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