Casting Diversity

We all benefit when we're all represented

On-screen and on-stage representation remains a significant ongoing issue of concern to Australian performers and Australian audiences. MEAA Equity’s National Performers Committee established the Equity Diversity Committee in May 2013 to drive and develop industry policies and practices that support diverse casting.

Thirty performers from varying performance backgrounds, ethnicities and areas of Australia are on the Committee.

Founding Statement

Equity’s Diversity Committee has been established to promote, advocate and realise the principles concerning diverse casting.

As a Standing Committee of Equity, the Equity Diversity Committee will recommend policies, advocate support structures and work with industry stakeholders to help create an inclusive industry and develop a more realistic representation on Australia’s screens and stages.

The Equity Diversity Committee is a volunteer committee made up of Equity members from across Australia who are professionals in the entertainment industry, supported by Equity staff. The Equity Diversity Committee considers diverse casting to include the casting of ethnic minority performers, women performers and performers with disability in roles where race, ethnicity, gender or the presence or absence of a disability is not germane.

The Diversity Committee strives to create an inclusive working environment in the entertainment industry that will foster more opportunities for Equity members from diverse communities.

The Equity Diversity Committee will draw from the personal experiences of its members who represent the diverse communities of the performance sector to help to identify and articulate contemporary challenges. The Committee will recommend support structures and policy initiatives that will help promote a national agenda on diversity issues.

Diversity Casting Action Plan

It is recommended that a Diversity subcommittee would in the first instance oversee the development of a “Diversity action plan”. The plan would examine the state of play with respect to diversity casting and develop recommendations with respect to a series of areas where Equity could seek to enact positive change. The plan would:

-Develop a diversity casting communications campaign and promotional strategy;
-Examine the collection of data with respect to casting;
-Investigate potential research into onscreen and onstage representation;
-Investigate international best practice with respect to supporting diversity casting and consider potential application in the Australian context;
-Create a long term plan to strengthen industrial agreements and codes of practice particularly with respect to the commercial networks;
-Develop an organising plan to ensure that Equity membership is representative of the Australian community; and
-Work with the Equity Foundation to produce two one day workshops as foreseen by the AFFA and develop other events relating to diversity casting.