Guardian: Labour to address lack of diversity in British film with new tax relief rules

Labour has drawn up plans that would force film production companies to ensure gender equality and diversity on set, following fresh evidence of the slow pace of change in the movie industry.

“For far too long, the film and TV industries have been dominated by a small and unrepresentative segment of society,” said the shadow culture minister Kevin Brennan this weekend. “Bringing inclusion riders from Hollywood to HMRC could put a rocket booster under the industry that pays lip service to diversity, but hasn’t always delivered.”

The political move would make Britain the first country to take such a form of positive action and Labour’s announcement is timed to stimulate debate ahead of the opening of the annual Cannes film festival in May.

“With Cannes just weeks away, it’s important we start an international conversation about the ways in which policy-makers can contribute to the urgent need for greater diversity,” said Brennan. “We will consult fully before bringing forward proposals but updating the film and high-end TV tax relief to require inclusion and diversity as part of the qualifying criteria would be a major step forward. The pace of change has been too slow so far. We need action now.”

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