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Sandra Oh says UK film and TV industry is "behind" regarding diversity

The Killing Eve star said that she has often been "the sole Asian person" on set

Published: Sunday, 28th June 2020 at 10:19 am

Killing Eve star Sandra Oh has said that the UK is "behind" when it comes to the issue of diversity on film and TV sets.


Speaking in conversation with fellow actor Kerry Washington for Variety’s Actors on Actors series, Oh told of how being the only Asian person on set is an all too familiar experience for her.

“The UK, I’m not afraid to say, is behind," she said. "I’m not only the only Asian person on set – sometimes it changes, [it’s] very exciting when that does, someone comes on set.

"But the development of people behind the camera is very slow in the UK. I don’t know about the rest of Europe. Sometimes it would be me and 75 white people and I have not come from that.

“I have not come from that in my film career, which has been much more independent, mostly working with women and women of colour. And my relationship with television – and in the United States – hasn’t necessarily been all white.”

Oh's comments come in the wake of similar claims made by acclaimed director Steve McQueen, who recently said that it was "shameful" how far behind the UK is in terms of representation, adding that "the stark reality is that there is no infrastructure to support and hire BAME crew."

Earlier this month, the BBC pledged £100 million of its existing commissioning budget over three years towards “diverse and inclusive content” in an attempt to accelerate the pace of change in increasing diversity both in front and behind the camera.

June Sarpong, the BBC's Director of Creative Diversity said of the commitment, “I’m pleased that we’re announcing this fund as the first of a series of bold steps that will help make the BBC an instrument of real change.”

“As a black woman, I feel and share in the pain that so many are feeling worldwide. It makes it all the more important that we show up now not just with words but with meaningful action."


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