Russell T Davies, Chris Chibnall, Idris Elba call for budgets to increase ethnic diversity in TV

In an open letter to broadcasters, actors and writers propose that money be ring-fenced to ensure greater ethnic minority representation in the industry


Actors and writers from within the television industry have called upon the BBC, ITV and other UK broadcasters to put aside money for investment to ensure that more members of ethnic minorities become involved in television, both in front of and behind the camera. 


In an open letter, those such as Russell T Davies, Chris Chibnall, Daniel Craig, Idris Elba, Lenny Henry, Emma Thompson and Neil Gaiman lend their signatures to the statement that they are, “dismayed at the poor numbers of black, Asian and minority ethnic people both on our screens and working behind the camera”.

The letter goes on to say that recent announcements from broadcasters such as the BBC – which pledged to boost the number of minorities on air by 40% – are not good enough, and instead outlines a proposal for channels to set aside a specific amount of money dedicated to getting minorities on both sides of the camera.  

“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 [black, Asian and minority ethnic] creative community: a ringfenced pot of money for BAME programs.”

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

The letter, published in the Guardian, backs up its argument by highlighting that, “only 5%of employees in our creative industries are BAME, despite BAME’s making up 12.5% of the total UK population.”


As of yet, no broadcaster has responded to the letter.