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On one condition

Actors including Juliet Stevenson, Meera Syal, David Tennant and Zawe Ashton have called for better onscreen representation of women older than 45 to fight against the “entrenched” ageism of the entertainment industry.

In an open letter signed by more than 100 actors and public figures, the Acting Your Age Campaign (AYAC) called for equal representation in the UK between men and women over 45 and urged immediate action on a “parity pledge”.

“Today’s in-demand young actress is tomorrow’s unemployed middle-aged actress,” it said, adding: “We are fighting to ensure that our generation of excluded women is the last generation of excluded women.”

As long as pretty little things don’t get onscreen just because they’re pretty little things.

Which isn’t going to happen, is it?

20 thoughts on “On one condition”

  1. Equity (no pun intended) not Equality continues to be the rallying cry, except for those ghastly white working glass men.

  2. Peeps who got stardom thanks to their youth and looks want to retain that stardom now that they no longer have said youth or looks. And, of course, steal that opportunity from the next generation.

    See also: grammar-school-educated Labour MPs deciding to kick away that ladder for those whose parents are of modest means, so that their useless privately-educated offspring don’t have so much competition.

  3. “Ageism targeting women is an entrenched industry staple that is outdated, harmful and neglects the millions of audience members who appreciate seeing women over 45 telling the stories of our lives,” the letter states.”

    A market is unfulfilled? So why aren’t all these luvvies pooling their money and making a movie with an older woman in the lead role and making a ton of cash?

  4. Sounds lie they want to start remaking those US college flicks from the 50’s. The ones where the actors playing the “kids” were well into middle age.

  5. Today’s in-demand young actress is tomorrow’s unemployed middle-aged actress

    So we owe ageing slappers a living?

  6. Among the recommendations are that all onscreen fictional content and light entertainment programmes with male and female leads or presenters should have 50:50 equal gender and age representation.

    It also calls for writer/performer dramas and comedy commissioning to feature 50:50 age and gender parity in programming, and for all broadcaster diversity initiatives to incorporate age.

    Try making ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS or THE GOLDEN GIRLS under these rules.

  7. Martin Jarvis and Rosemary Ayres had a great wheeze, they did The Importance of Being Earnest where everybody was geriatic. Very funny too.

  8. I don’t see the problem. There are plenty of older actresses doing all the roles that require an older woman – many more than just Lady Bracknell or QE1. They may not be lead parts but they pay the rent unless said ladies have got used to being very high maintenance in their younger high-earning life. Even someone as self-opinionated and irritating as Miriam Margolyes gets by.

  9. Why do individual shows have to be split? In many cases that would make no sense. The whole premise of a show might be to look into the lives of fresh-faced graduates in their first job (writers being graduates themselves, it’s rare the premise concerns those who didn’t go to uni too) or a bunch of pensioners growing old disgracefully. I could understand BBC commissioners being told to make sure their schedule contains a balance of programming featuring a range of ages and backgrounds. But even at the level of individual channels that doesn’t make a lot of sense – BBC2 and BBC3 have very different target demographics, what would be the point of showing a light entertainment show about pensioners on your yoof channel? At the level of individual shows it makes no sense at all, unless you want them all to be homogenised.

  10. Miriam Margolyes is irritating, but she’s a talented actress, which is more than most in the “profession”. Who else could do every single female role in The Water Margin?

  11. Steve: “Try making ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS or THE GOLDEN GIRLS under these rules.”

    That’s……different.. Stop applying Logic and Facts to the brainfarts of the High and Mighty, you troglodite cis-het ableist!! 😛

  12. Bloke in North Dorset

    Why don’t they just self-identify as younger and then apply to the government for an Age Change Certificate? It will also save them the expense of cosmetic surgery and there won’t be Amy fights over which prison they should go to or which changing rooms they can use.

  13. Didn’t Meera Sayal- take the job of an old indian granny for at home with the kumars?

  14. Perhaps these actors should write an open letter demanding the Sun rise in the West. That wouldn’t deny Nature any more than they’re here.

  15. It’s the usual tactic of insisting on measuring at a level that’s too granular so you can always complain about lack of whatever you want, like individual firms reporting gender pay or the calls for sustainable cost accounting. Only relevant at an much larger level like industry or even country wide not at level of individual organisations

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