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HomeentertainmentEdinburgh TV Festival spotlights diversity: 'Good programming is global'

Edinburgh TV Festival spotlights diversity: 'Good programming is global'

Diversity and how best to ensure diversity in the UK TV industry was a topic of debate at the opening day of the Edinburgh Television Festival on Wednesday .

In a panel discussion titled “Insert (Diversity) Here,” The Hollywood Reporter served as Media partner, writer-director and actor Adjani Salmon (Dreaming Whist Black) shows that there are not enough diverse people in positions of power. He recalls pitching to the BBC without success before he started working with Big Deal Films, a production company focused on inclusive storytelling.

Then panelist Sarah Asante, then commissioner for the BBC but now commissioned editor for UKTV, saw it and gave it a chance on BBC Three. “I would ask myself ‘why did this happen, and the only black women who read it were the ones who saw the potential in it,'” Salmon said. “From that perspective, yes, you’re right, we need more commissioners like us,” which also makes it easier for them to “understand how we feel.”

Showrunner Surian Fletcher-Jones and ITV Studios-backed 5 Acts Productions creative director David Davis moderated the discussion on how best to support diverse talent, both on set Or off-screen, in a way that can bring about meaningful and lasting change in the TV industry.

Davis criticized that “minority shows” are often labelled too niche for no reason. “We can watch Ordinary People about two Irish men who go to college in Ireland falling in love, but it’s common because of what , they’re all white?” He added that Empire proved that millions of people can watch the show, “because good shows go viral and are global Yes, we need to stop people saying our show is too niche to be global” because it “just isn’t true”.

Other panelists are actress Cheriley Huston (Coronation Street )), who co-founded Created TripleC, working to change the way people with disabilities engage and access the arts, screenwriter and actor Genevieve Barr (Press, Call To midwives ).

Houston points out that getting people into entertainment for the first time is a key industry, “because then you get more jobs. .” Otherwise there would be “a lot of stereotypes”, she said.

“Based on my disability experience, I can tell from miles away whether someone is using a wheelchair in real life,” she said. “It’s really frustrating because what we’re doing is telling people that this is who we are and it’s not the truth, so you fight it in society. Society is not educated because we give the wrong information.”

However, her 12 year at Coronation Street was “wonderful” ‘ because it gave her a good platform, she said.

Meanwhile, Asante said, “I see my role as a puzzle solver” because “the creators of color would never know the sausage-making process in the industry”.

Barr said she feels “things are being considered more” these days. Thanks to Channel 4, “I had a positive experience,” she said, adding that she hoped that would continue. “As a deaf person, I really didn’t know I was deaf,” she also shared about her early years. “People don’t really talk about it.”

When asked who decides what’s real, Salmon said: “Even as a black man, at best I… Know yourself. I can’t speak for black Britain.” He argued, “sometimes that’s the arrogance of thinking ‘I’m here, so I know’.” He added: “Whether you’re from the community or not, I think the key is to focus on what you will be To whom is the work dedicated.”

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