Comedian Frankie Boyle has called for diversity quotas to be imposed on television channels, arguing that bosses have ‘proved’ they’re incapable of solving the issue.
“People who’re not making television like to talk about the channels wanting to tick boxes: they want ethnic diversity, they want female led sitcoms and that kind of stuff,” he told an audience at the Edinburgh Television Festival, “but that doesn’t seem to be true to me. And often when they get those kind of shows, either they get rid of them or they go ‘well that box is ticked for a long time.’”
Referring to the endless industry hand-wringing over the subject, which so seldom seems to result in any appreciable change in the make-up of representation on screen, Boyle called for the issue to be taken out of the channels’ hands.
“I just think we should have quotas, because they’ve been trying to do it for years. At this TV festival, they bring in quite senior people from the BBC or other channels and they go ‘oh yeah, it’s terrible that we don’t have black people.’ You’re the fucking creative head of the BBC! Just do it! They’ve proved they can’t do it, so there should be quotas across the board, they should be forced to do it.”
Boyle also addressed the argument that the lack of diverse programming is due to a dearth of pitches or available talent.
“It shouldn’t be some young black comedian’s job to make sure that the BBC have representation.”