As if the scarcity of roles for black actors in Britain wasn’t bad enough, those who are cast in TV productions often find their hair and makeup needs are being ignored or at worst abused.
A new campaign to tackle inequality in behind-the-camera treatment has been launched by Peggy-Ann Fraser, a black actor. She is aiming to expose the mistreatment of black actors, and calling for better hair and makeup training, as well as greater employment for black hair and makeup artists.
Indeed, quite vital, fortunately it’s already being solved:
Fraser, who is on the black-members committee of the broadcasting union Bectu, has also won the backing of Equity, the entertainment-industry union, to examine the issue and decide what action to take. Equalities and diversity organiser Hamida Ali said: “Equity members met with Bectu’s hair-and-makeup branch last October and drew up a plan of action including looking at training and workshops, policy and guidance and the diversity of hair and makeup professionals.”
Equity and Bectu aim to “plug the knowledge gap that exists among industry professionals about black skin and hair”, through a week-long pilot or taster course due to start towards the end of 2017, led by black makeup and hair-care specialists.
So file this under problems diagnosed and solved then, eh? After all, the unions have got this, haven’t they?