UPDATED: Leading figures in UK Arts and Media call for action on racial diversity

August 20, 2014
Pat Younge

The full text and list of signatories of the Open Letter to Tony Hall, Adam Crozier, David Abraham, Jeremy Darroch and Phillippe Dauman, regarding Diversity in UK broadcasting, published in the Guardian newspaper on August 20th 2014.

UPDATED WITH ADDITIONAL SIGNATORIES 6pm Aug 22nd

We the undersigned are writing you this open letter because together you are responsible for the most powerful broadcasting institutions in Britain and are therefore in a unique position to shape and form the future of British television.

We are dismayed at the poor numbers of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people both on our screens and working behind the camera

Today, only 5% of employees in our creative industries are BAME, despite BAME’s making up 12.5% of the total UK population.

In order to redress this imbalance, we believe that the training, mentoring and development schemes recently announced, although welcome, are not sufficiently radical to effect significant change.

We propose, therefore a solution that would almost immediately stimulate growth throughout the BAME creative community: a ring–fenced pot of money for BAME programmes.

The effect of this fund would be to engender and encourage television that would reflect one of Britain’s greatest strengths; our diversity.

Let us be clear about how this ring-fenced money would work. It is about quality of programming, not quantity: money is only spent when quality projects are identified – not to fill a quota. The major broadcasters have already set targets for the number of programmes produced outside London, and in the Nations.

To increase ethnic diversity we are asking you to look at what has worked before and extend it for BAME communities. Ring-fencing money would not only guarantee results, but also create a more stable space for BAME talent on screen and behind the camera.

Yours with respect,

NAMES (alphabetical order)
Troy Titus Adams
Simon Albury
Kenton Allen
Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE
Amma Asante
Marianne Jean-Baptiste
Sanjeev Bhaskar OBE
Juliet Blake
Alan Bleasdale
Gurinder Chadha OBE
Lolita Chakrabarti
Act for Change
Chris Chibnall
Dominic Cooke CBE
Allan Cubitt
Richard Curtis CBE
Stephen Daldry CBE
Russell T Davies OBE
Gregory Doran
Nadine Marsh-Edwards
Idris Elba
Marianne Elliott
Barbara Emile
Daniel Evans
Sir Richard Eyre CBE
Aminatta Forna
Michael Foster
Neil Gaiman
Lucy Gannon
Tony Grisoni
Charlie Hanson
David Harewood MBE
Lenny Henry CBE
Harry Hill
Sally Long-Innes
Terry Jones
Asif Kapadia
Kanya King
Sarah Lam
Baroness Doreen Lawrence
Adrian Lester OBE
Phyllida Lloyd CBE
Lisa Makin
Tony Marchant
Simon McBurney OBE
Jimmy McGovern
Jed Mercurio
Courttia Newland
Bill Nighy
Rufus Norris
David Oyelowo
Ashley Pharoah
Lynda La Plante CBE
Stephen Poliakoff CBE
Lucy Prebble
Hugh Quarshie
Beverley Randall
Ian Rickson
Alrick Riley
Geoff Small
Lord Alan Sugar
Meera Syal MBE
Emma Thompson
David Tse
Indira Varma
Sally Wainwright
Matthew Warchus
Richard Wilson OBE
Benedict Wong
David Yip
Pat Younge

STOP PRESS – NEW SIGNATORIES

STEVE MCQUEEN CBE

TREVOR PHILLIPS OBE

PHINA ORUCHE

AML AMEEN

DANIEL CRAIG

MATT LUCAS

JENNIFER EHLE

DEXTER FLETCHER

RON COOK

KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS

RUPERT GOOLD

ELAINE C SMITH

JULIAN FELLOWES

EMILY WATSON