Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency on the results of the “Diversity in film” study: Depicting societal diversity in the film industry

Year of issue 2021
Date 2021.03.24

Today, the “Diversity in film” alliance supported by the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency presented the initial results of a study among 6,000 filmmakers.

It found that, eight out of ten women taking part in the survey have experienced sexual harassment in the last two years, some of whom on multiple occasions. Four out of ten queer filmmakers conceal their sexual identity for fear of losing their career. People with a migrant background, people with a disability and women, too, are less likely to be in permanent employment, as well as there being clear differences in earnings.

“The study demonstrates clearly that something needs to change within the film industry,” stated Bernhard Franke, acting head of the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency in Berlin on Wednesday. “A sensible idea would be to introduce clear codes of conduct for productions and, above all, effective complaints management in case of discrimination and harassment,” continued Franke. “In more than 60 percent of cases, discrimination already starts right at the very beginning, in other words when a project or activity commences – for instance while auditioning. Here applicants are subjected to injustice and, at the same time, this is also where opportunities are squandered by the industry. It is important that decision-makers receive clear sensitisation and training in this regard. We live in a diverse society – the film industry must also undergo this transformation,” said Franke.

With some concern Franke also noted that according to the survey, two out of three respondents who had experienced discrimination did not report it. “People employed by the film industry are often in a very precarious situation since they need to support themselves financially from project to project – which will no doubt have become even more difficult during the coronavirus pandemic. It requires even more effort to address discrimination when it might lead to negative consequences for oneself. We therefore need complaints bodies that are well-known, low-threshold and qualified.” In this context, Franke cited the industry-wide advice centre “Themis” as an example, which began its work in 2018 as part of the #metoo initiative.

More than 6,000 filmmakers took part in the survey initiated by the “Diversity in film” alliance. The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency, which assisted in creating and conducting the survey, also financed the study.

All findings are available in greater detail at www.vielfaltimfilm.de.

The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency is an independent contact point for persons affected by discriminatio. It was established in 2006 when the General Act on Equal Treatment entered into force. The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency does public relations work and research on the topic of Discrimination and offers legal initial counselling for people who have been discriminated against on grounds of ethnic origin, religion, ideology, sexual identity, age, disability or gender.