In details disclosed by Ofcom chairman, Patricia Hodgson, 'Project Silvermouse' will set up a system of league tables which will publish data on how many black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees are employed by each of the major broadcasters.
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: "The Lack of black and ethnic minority faces on UK television is frankly weird." Vaizey called for immediate action to address the problem and said broadcasters were "cutting themselves off from a huge range of talent" and that the industry was failing to reach a significant section of the audience.
The broadcasters whose number of black, Asian and ethnic minority employees will be monitored under 'Project Silvermouse' include DTG members BBC, ITV, C4 and Sky. Patrica Hodgson said "This is an important step, as this is the first time the broadcasters will be able to provide data on on-screen and off-screen representation which is standardised, comparable and made publicly available on a broadcaster-by-broadcaster basis."
This comes after television stars including Lenny Henry and Idris Elba wrote an open letter which told TV bosses that they are 'dismayed' at the poor numbers of people from ethnic minority backgrounds working in the industry and called for a 'ring-fenced' pot of money for black, Asian and minority ethnic programmes.
Both the BBC and Sky have announced plans to improve on-screen diversity with the latter stating that by the end of next year 20% of actors and writers of its UK-originated shows would come from minority backgrounds.
In response, Ed Vaizey said he was pleased to hear of plans by the BBC and Sky to improve their diversity record and would like to hear similar plans from ITV and C4.
This comes as the Edinburgh Television Festival addresses the subject in a session this afternoon that asks: 'Is TV Racist?'
DTG Staff | 21.08.2014