Press Release


18 September 2019

Directors UK welcomes Ofcom’s first full report on the diversity of freelancers in the TV industry which highlights the inadequate monitoring of the freelance workforce, and the need for more industry-wide interventions to improve representation. Directors UK supports Ofcom in calling on the industry to do better.
Ofcom’s report demonstrates how the gaps in freelancer diversity monitoring have limited the industry’s ability to identify and tackle the areas that need improvement. Directors UK’s own research into gender and BAME representation among TV directors found that programme makers are not representative of their audiences, and that there is a greater need for diversity and inclusion behind the camera. Ofcom are right to call on the broadcasters and the wider industry to do more to improve diversity reporting and to make CDN’s Diamond production monitoring system effective.
Directors UK, alongside other organisations representing the freelance workforce, is ready to support Diamond but we are asking the Creative Diversity Network to report data about the workforce at subgenre and programme level to enable the industry to effectively identify and focus on areas in need of targeted interventions to improve diversity and inclusion.  
Ofcom’s report also highlights the disparity in career development initiatives aimed at improving under-representation. Funding is largely focused on training in scripted drama and comedy with little or no funding for other genres such as factual and light entertainment. Directors UK’s own work delivering a variety of drama director career development programmes has shown how effective these can be for increasing employment of a diverse workforce. Directors UK believes that reform of the Apprenticeship Levy is essential. We also support ScreenSkills’ proposals for a non-fiction training levy, to resolve the lack of skills development funding in non-fiction genres. 
Andrew Chowns, Directors UK CEO said: “We are pleased that Ofcom has responded to calls to focus on the diversity of freelancers in television production. Directors UK’s reports have demonstrated clearly that under-representation of our diverse workforce on and off-screen exists and persists. In some cases, we have found it has actually got worse. Ofcom is right to hold our industry to account. Let’s make a start by agreeing that Diamond must make its data available at programme and subgenre level. Only with accurate diversity data can industry bodies and programme makers ensure that we assign resources to the areas where help is most needed. Directors UK is ready and willing to support the industry in achieving accurate and useful reporting and delivering change.”

    About Directors UK
    Directors UK is the professional association of UK screen directors. It is a membership organisation representing the creative, economic and contractual interests of over 7,000 members - the majority of working TV and film directors in the UK. Directors UK collects and distributes royalty payments and provides a range of services to members including campaigning, commercial negotiations, legal advice, events, training and career development. Directors UK works closely with fellow organisations around the world to represent directors’ rights and concerns, promotes excellence in the craft of direction and champions change to the current landscape to create an equal opportunity industry for all.
    Directors UK has published reports exploring the diversity of the directing workforce.
    Adjusting the Colour Balance reports on Black, Asian and minority ethnic representation among screen directors working in UK television.
    Who's Calling the Shots? reports on gender inequality among screen directors working in UK television.

Charlie Coombes

Head of PR and Corporate Communications

[email protected]

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more