THE BLOG

Acting for a Change

03/07/2014 12:40 BST | Updated 01/09/2014 10:59 BST

The Act For Change Project London. Young Vic June 30th. Thanks to Danny Lee Wynter and the team. What an inspiring morning. Now we must lobby for true change and equality. With Ann Mitchell and Nicholas Pinnock.I just witness one of the greatest demonstrations of self empowerment ever. I have just left the Young Vic in London where the Act for Change project took place. It's started after actor Danny Lee Wynter watched a trailer from ITV for their impeding TV releases and saw all white characters and decided along with his partners, a group of actors of all colours genders and ages, that enough is enough and something had to be done. The Act For Change Project was born. It was well attend by actors of all ages colours, producers, writers, and aspirants. The commissioner Steve November from ITV and Julia Campsie from BBC casting were there. I was grateful for them taking us seriously. I praise them both for that. Lenny Henry was there. Which I also really appreciate, because he is also in the very early stages of working a Richard Pyror piece and so he came script and hand and represented. I was sat between Cathy Tyson and Claire Perkins(Eastenders) In front of me was Don Warrington who I love as an early pioneer to the struggle to get appropriate representation of black folks on TV and Ann Mitchell who plays Cora Cross on Eastenders. Jimmy Akingbola and Hugh Quarshie both from Holby City. I am going tell you the truth I have rarely been in a room with this many black British actors and our white British co stars who want to see change too. The last time I recall such a gathering was at the Screen Nation awards where I got and award for Liberty Baker and that was 2006. It was interesting to learn that we want as well as money ring fenced for black productions, we want a quota as they do in all american productions, That reflects Britain as it is now ethnically diverse. We want Ofcom to reintroduce the monitoring for ethnicity. It appears that as a direct response to Ofcom stopping monitoring ethnicity in British drama in 2006 it dropped immediately.

Shami Chakrabarti the director of Liberty served excellently as chair, both because of her passion, but also because she kept things tight and to the point. And neither should we its time to lobby, our voices via letters, calls to the TV stations and. Parliament. That's how the US did it. Collectively we can do this. Eva Simpson writer from The Times the Mirror also had a poignant contribution and refused to let the commissioners off the hook. And neither should we. #actforchange