Research finds BAME community over-represented on UK TV

Bame TV

New research suggests people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are over-represented on UK television. The community accounted for more than 22 per cent of all on-screen TV contributions last year, while representing just 12.8 per cent of the UK population.

However, over the past three years, on-screen contributions by South Asian ethnic groups have fallen from 7.1 per cent to 5.6 per cent, reports the Daily Mail.

The figures are taken from a detailed dive into BAME data collected by the Creative Diversity Network’s diversity monitoring and reporting system, used by all of the UK’s main broadcasters. It is based on 30,000 survey responses from workers in the UK television industry, and comes after demands for TV representation intensified in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

In its report, the CDN, whose members include BBC, Sky, ITV and Channel 4, said the figures show “there is still a lack of racial and ethnic diversity in our industry.” It went on to say that inclusion and equality are not yet “baked” into the industry’s ways of working and “need to be in order for diversity to flourish.”

Though people who identify with Asian ethnic groups make around 30 per cent of BAME programme contributions, this is low given that Asian ethnic groups account for more than half of the country’s BAME population.

The report also found that people from BAME groups are making fewer contributions in a senior production role across most genres.

Behind the cameras, there is also a “considerable lack of diversity” in technical and craft roles across UK TV production, with fewer than 5% of programme contributions in Costume and Wardrobe, Hair and Make-Up and Set Design are by those from a BAME group.

CDN boss Deborah Williams said in response to the report, “If we are to end 2020 with a collective wisdom gained from our various experiences, then I hope that this report can make a significant contribution.” She went on to say, “It is clear that there is so much more work to be done, and it is vital that we now find ways to bring together all of the conversations, debates, data and evidence to build on our foundation stones.”

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