Equal Representation for Actresses: Inaugural Event sponsored by Spotlight

Equal Representation for Actresses, for Audiences, for All

This Wednesday, ERA 50:50 will be hosting a landmark event aimed at not just challenging but changing the status quo. ‘ERA 50:50 - It’s Time’ is sponsored by Spotlight and has the full backing of Equity, Time’s Up and the Mayor of London.

ERA 50:50 is a movement of actors and actresses, set up in 2015 by Elizabeth Berrington and Polly Kemp, to inspire change in the industry and to create a fairer, healthier, more balanced society. This UK-based campaign is backed by thousands of supporters including Emma Thompson, Olivia Colman and Lena Headey. The event will bring together 250 of the most powerful names in the entertainment industry in one room and call on them to change the way women are represented on stage and screen.

In the words of ERA 50:50 founders Elizabeth Berrington and Polly Kemp:

Our industry and our society has reached a tipping point, we’re waking up to the fact that the way women are represented within the entertainment industry is not only damaging to women themselves but, as research has shown, to society at large. Culture holds up a mirror to society. The lack of female faces distorts that image and the message it sends out has a detrimental effect on all of us. We have a responsibility to future generations to repair that imbalance. We are asking the industry to stand up for a new era for British film, television and stage.

Currently, whilst women make up 51% of the population, there are 2 men for every 1 woman across film, television and theatre and 3 men for every 1 woman on children's television. Even in crowd scenes, men vastly outnumber women by more than 4 to 1. In fact, there are proportionately fewer women represented in film today than there were in 1913.

Actress Emma Thompson has said on the initiative:

It is absolutely vital that all persons in this industry help this group of women to bring about the change that has to happen if any of our generation are going be able to hold up our heads and say we actually did something instead of ignoring it. So please, get involved with what is the most important initiative in our culture.

The event will be attended by the heads of all of the major independent UK production companies, artistic directors from the UK’s major theatres, high profile actors and actresses, key MPs and all of the UK’s publicly funded broadcasters. To reflect the reality that women make up half of society, ERA 50:50 will be asking production companies, broadcasters and theatres to achieve a 50:50 balance of representation across their yearly content or season by 2020.