The Labour Party, currently the opposition to the British government, has revealed that it is drawing up plans to only make the tax credits available to producers and directors who operate a more inclusive cast and crew. However, given that Labour is not in power, and despite an uncertain political climate in the UK, the next general election is not actually required to be held until May 2022, so the rules could take some time to be put into place.
In 2016, the last year figures were available for, 175 films including Wonder Woman and T2: Trainspotting, and 45 TV series including The Crown and Game of Thrones, claimed tax relief.
“For far too long, the film and TV industries have been dominated by a small and unrepresentative segment of society,” said Shadow Culture Minister Kevin Brennan. “Bringing inclusion riders from Hollywood to HMRC could put a rocket booster under the industry that pays lip service to diversity, but hasn’t always delivered.”
“With Cannes just weeks away, it’s important we start an international conversation about the ways in which policy-makers can contribute to the urgent need for greater diversity,” Brennan added. “We will consult fully before bringing forward proposals but updating the film and high-end TV tax relief to require inclusion and diversity as part of the qualifying criteria would be a major step forward. The pace of change has been too slow so far. We need action now.”
The move is the latest noise around inclusion riders, which have been in the spotlight since Frances McDormand made her impassioned speech at the Oscars after winning for her performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Last month, Black Panther and Creed star Michael B. Jordan adopted inclusion riders for all projects through his Outlier Society production company, as did Ghostbusters director Paul Feig and Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.