Thoughts, and plans, and links…
By The Gate Films managing partner, Rhiannon Lewis.
Across the globe people have taken to the streets, in the middle of a pandemic, to say enough is enough, black lives matter.
I wanted to speak out right away, I wanted our business to be right there alongside them. But I also didn’t want to say the wrong thing. It’s difficult to know what to do. Recognising my own white privilege, and educating myself on the deep seeded racial injustices in the UK, and beyond, has been uncomfortable. But not as difficult, and uncomfortable, as a knee on my neck.
Looking around the industry space we occupy, the whiteness is palpable. We love black culture, and in a lot of instances we use black culture to sell to the masses. But our crews lack diversity, our industry lacks diversity – our company lacks diversity.
I’ve asked myself why this is. Here's a few thoughts for starters…
- To get a break into the film industry, it’s often word of mouth…someone’s mate works in the camera team and they need a runner, or someone else’s dad is shooting a film and they need help in art department. We always say it’s mostly about who you know in this world.
- Not many people know these roles exist. Say “gaffer” in relation to a job title to most 16 year olds and they’re not going to know what you’re talking about.
- Anyone in film or advertising will tell you they did their fair share of making coffee and working for free. Not everyone can afford to do this.
We strongly agree with the leaders of many advertising agencies when they came together and said – “The advertising industry needs to create and maintain inclusive cultures sensitive to inequity and the pain of racism.”
So, here’s what we’re committing to –
- Educating our workforce on racism, empowering them to call out racism wherever they see it, and encouraging everyone to be actively anti-racist.
- Diversifying our timeline – we understand we have a platform and we’re going to use it. We hope to Raise awareness amongst those who may otherwise not see.
- We’ll be reaching out to schools, colleges and youth programmes to talk about the roles available in the film and advertising industry and how to get into them.
- We’ll be making paid placements and internships available.
This is just the start of our journey, and if you have any suggestions on how we can do better, then feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
I wanted to share some links I’ve found useful in relation to our industry-
The full letter to Adland can be found here:
A Tribe Called Progress – give black people the tools and networks to progress within their chosen industry -
Media for all – “Helping BAME talent thrive”