Working class make up less than 10 percent of film and TV workers, study reveals

A new study has revealed that less than one in ten people working in film and television in the UK are from working class backgrounds, the lowest figure in a decade.

The same research, as reported by Channel 4, also showed that a similar disparity is present in the music and performing arts sector, with just 16 per cent coming from working class communities, as opposed to almost 65 per cent from middle or upper class backgrounds.

A lack of diversity has also been reported in other categories, with data showing that 90 per cent of those working in the arts are white, and nearly 70 per cent of people in managerial positions are men, with only 1 per cent of those being Black.

The study reveals that although such class-based patterns are not new, they actually show a decline in working class people making a living in the entertainment industry.

Downing Street protest against the government’s U-turn on its anti-obesity strategy on May 20, 2022 in London, England. (CREDIT: Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

A spokesperson for the UK government responded to the report, saying they are committed to “growing a creative sector with opportunities for all, creating new pathways into the industry through training and education.”

Labour, meanwhile, announced last month that they would reform the school accountability framework in an effort to ensure that arts subjects are considered of comparable value to sciences and humanities.


Keir Starmer, the party’s leader, vowed to place culture “at the core” of his government if he were to win the forthcoming general election. “It’s about helping every child find their voice, learn who they are and what they believe and tell their story in their own way,” he said (via Yahoo! News).

“That is the power of art in a nutshell.”

He also said Labour would broaden the curriculum to help all children study a creative subject or sport until the age of 16, and the party would work with museums and galleries to get more art into public spaces, while also promising a clampdown on ticket touts.

Class inequality has been a major talking point in the creative arts in the UK in recent years, with Garbage’s Shirley Manson recently telling NME that music is currently dominated by artists who are “independently wealthy”.


“What you lose are the baby starter bands coming from working class beginnings and any middle class of musicians,” she said. “They’re not the ones who are making really accessible, mainstream-sounding music – but the ones who take risks. Perhaps they’re making music that’s perhaps super heavy, that’s esoteric and strange.”

“You can hear that capitalist and economic strain in today’s music. It’s nonsense and it’s a heartbreak. Everyone is losing out. What’s happening to young musicians – and I underline the word young – is a fucking outrage. Somebody in government needs to go and help them out, because this is not right. It’s abusive.”