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Black women, Indigenous women and women of color are struggling to find leadership roles in Canadian film and TV productions.
That’s the conclusion of the sixth on-screen report from Women In View, which urges greater racial representation in hiring practices for the Canadian industry to make good on commitments for greater diversity and inclusion on local film and TV sets.
“These stats reveal a disturbing pattern common across gender-parity initiatives: setting targets merely based on gender doesn’t equitably serve all women. When examined individually, these statistics are dismal and illuminate the lack of diversity within leadership positions, in writing rooms, and on sets,” stated the Women In View 2021 report as it was released on Wednesday.
While Canadians have access to a slew of U.S. TV shows from Black creators like Scandal, Empire, Dear White People and Black-ish, local TV dramas and movies written by and starring Black Canadians are rare. Among exceptions currently on Canadian TV is the CBC legal drama Diggstown, created by Floyd Kane and picked up stateside by BET+.
The Canadian industry has made gains in gender equality, but not for Black or Indigenous women, the Women in View 2021 study concludes, and has not lifted film and TV sets beyond box ticking to achieve the wider purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of George Floyd’s killing a year ago.
“I hope seeing these numbers is a wake-up call to the entire industry that Black women, Indigenous women and Women of Colour are consistently being left behind. Gender equity cannot be celebrated when we are shut out of key creative roles,” Nathalie Younglai, founder of BIPOC TV & Film, said in a statement as the Women in View 2021 study was released.
“We need to keep pushing for real change that is inclusive, equitable and intersectional. Even if it means those in power have to step aside to make room for those of us who have been historically excluded for so long,” Younglai added.
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