Racial Equality and Ethnic Diversity

FIA strongly rejects any discrimination with respect to employment opportunities based on any ground, including race and ethnicity. Despite a reputation of openness and inclusion, the live performance and audiovisual industries still feature a chronic lack of diversity and a staggering under-representation of people of colour, at acting, directing and producing levels. Available roles for non-white actors in film and television are often limited and limiting. The lack of ethnic people in ballet is a painful reminder of how hard it is to make it as a non-white dancer in this competitive and demanding environment.

Dubious assumptions of what economically important audiences want to see continue to affect casting decisions and uphold all kinds of discriminatory practices. Artistic freedom is often heralded as a cheap objection to more and better roles for racially and ethnically diverse actors. Whitewashing, the default practice of casting white actors in non-white characters, is still widespread. The few, encouraging examples of individual achievement are unfortunately yet to tell a story of systemic change.

FIA and its affiliates strongly support non-traditional and inclusive casting practices, as well as equal employment opportunities for all performers – regardless of their ethnic origin or race.