Study Says U.K. Film & TV Biz Discriminates Against Working Class, Women, Minorities

A plummy accent and good connections are among essential attributes for moving ahead in Britain’s film and TV industry, according to a new report by two British academics. The production sector is “dominated by the middle classes who hoard opportunities to work on the best contracts,” say professor Irena Grugulis of Durham University and Dr Dimitrinka Stoyanova of the University of St Andrews. After a period of observation and dozens of interviews with industry folk, the pair found that the working class, women and those from ethnic minorities were either under-represented or held low or medium quality positions – or a mixture of the two. The academics cited issues like neoptism and “social capital” (ie a network of powerful friends) as factors in the findings. Samantha Horley, whose London-based Salt Company has a progressive policy towards hiring, concurs. “I still think the British industry is extremely classist,” she tells me, noting that in the international sales sector, “people for the most part want sales people who speak like Hugh Grant.” The study also found that the working class was discriminated against because they don’t have the “right accents, hairstyles, clothes or backgrounds.” Maxine Peake, of Channel 4’s Shameless, recently noted the lack of high-profile working class actresses in Britain saying there’s “loads” of working class actors but only one woman: Samantha Morton. Still, Horley, who admits that her own privileged background was probably a leg-up when she started in the business, doesn’t feel that discrimination extends to the creative sector. “You do notice that there’s a lot of posh producers looking after their grungy directors,” she says. The full press release regarding the academic findings follows: (more…)

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2012/04/u-k-study-find-british-film-tv-biz-discriminates-against-working-class-women-minorities-255140/