Promoting inclusivity in our industry
We believe that our industry is in a powerful position to shape people’s perception by featuring a broad range of talent on our stages and screens, and through the stories that get told.
At Spotlight, we believe that people of all ages, ethnicity, races, gender, sexual orientation, abilities and socioeconomic statuses should be able to work successfully in our industry, and no one should be disadvantaged in any way because of any of these characteristics. We also know that this isn’t always the case, and that we have a responsibility to acknowledge and try to change systemic inequalities in our industry.
Here’s what we will do to help:
- We are actively developing a new Spotlight platform, launching new profiles, search tools, and an improved Spotlight Link that will include more options for how information about disability, gender, and appearance are presented. This will help ensure there is more choice for our members to reflect their identity better and help casting directors to find a broader range of talent to cast in their projects.
- We will empower our members, including performers, agents and casting directors, by providing resources, training and support to develop an awareness of discrimination and tools such as appropriate language and guidelines relating to casting and working with specific groups.
- We will ensure that, on balance, the people featured in our imagery, those who present at our events and panels and the topics addressed in our content will be representative of the diversity of our membership, including age, gender, disability and ethnicity.
- Where we hold in-person events or castings in our rooms and studios, we will endeavour to make these as accessible to as many members as possible. Where it is not possible to do so, due to the limitations of our building at 7 Leicester Place, we will provide other ways to access these events or auditions. This could include using our Digital Casting Service, live streaming or recording events, or hosting some of our events in fully accessible venues as we have been doing.
- We will support our team in learning and developing their awareness of discrimination and the specific needs of different groups of our members. This will include ongoing training about unconscious bias, appropriate language and terminology, best practice and taking advice from experts.
- We will actively seek to find people from diverse backgrounds as part of our recruitment process, to help ensure that we redress the imbalance that minority groups face with accessing opportunities within the industry. We will work to ensure our Spotlight team and management is diverse in terms of age, ethnicity, gender and disability.
- We will continue to support a wide range of organisations who are working hard to reduce inequality and disadvantages that some groups face in our industry. We will continue to work with groups in our industry to learn about the challenges faced by our members, to be able to identify ways that Spotlight can positively influence their experiences.
- We will use our influence with other industry organisations and professional bodies to ensure our values of inclusivity and diversity are aligned and positive change is promoted and championed.
For many years Spotlight has been working to reduce inequalities faced by disadvantaged groups. Here's what we've done recently:
- Removal of binary gender options for performers when applying to join Spotlight
- We launched www.ProFilePerformers.com, in partnership with the National Theatre, to give a greater platform to disabled performers
- We have run BSL training sessions for our professional agent and casting director members
- We have BSL interpreters available at Spotlight events, to ensure that our members who are deaf or who have hearing loss can access information and development opportunities alongside all of our members
- We subtitle all our event recordings to ensure they’re accessible
- We have a wealth of diversity/inclusivity content on our site. All our published podcasts have transcriptions.
- We support BFI Flare festival and have run panel events around LGBT+ casting
- We partnered with the National Theatre to run a casting event for transgender actors to foster links between performers and creatives
- We support the ERA 50:50 campaign for the equal representation of women on stage and screen
- We support Actors Awareness, the campaign fighting for more equality, diversity and working class talent in the arts
- We sponsor and/or partner with a number of organisations with active outreach programmes targeting as many diverse backgrounds as possible, such as the National Youth Theatre and Open Door
- We partner with PiPA, the campaign for change in attitudes and practices to parents in the performing arts, in order to attract, support and retain a more diverse and flexible workforce
- During our Open House weeks of events, we hold at least one full day of workshops at Old Diorama, a fully accessible venue
- We run several events each year to discuss issues faced by disadvantaged groups or to facilitate opportunities for these members to raise their profile with casting directors such as a self-taping workshop for Blue Diamond Drama Academy in association with the National Theatre and Maureen Hughes Casting, a meet and greet with the Casting Directors Guild for Deaf and disabled members and a panel event in partnership with the Casting Society of America about authenticity within casting
We welcome your feedback and ideas on how Spotlight can continue to positively influence our industry to be more inclusive. Please email [email protected].