How diverse is the German-speaking film and television industry? Who is represented and how, and who is not? What exclusions and precarious working conditions exist and how can we promote the development of an inclusive working environment in the film industry? The initiative and online survey Vielfalt im Film (ViF) was the first comprehensive survey of anti-discrimination and equality data in the German-speaking film and television industry. Over 6,000 members of the film industry in their 440 professions participated in the online survey. This is the first comprehensive data on their experiences with diversity and discrimination in front of and behind the camera. The results of #VielfaltImFilm indicate that discrimination pervades the German film industry and limits the participation of people with different diversity backgrounds. The survey ran from mid-July to the end of October 2020.
"Diversity is an enrichment for everyone and especially in the film industry its representation is relevant - for the success of the productions, for the self-conception of the audience and the development of artistic freedom", says Martin Wilhelm, managing director of Citizens For Europe gUG (CFE). It is crucial that the diversity of society is reflected in front of and behind the camera, that all those who co-finance film funding through tax money, radio contributions and film levies also see themselves represented in the productions that are created."
The film business is characterized by economic interests, precarious working conditions and discrimination. Even before the #MeToo debate, a survey "GENDER UND FILM" conducted among filmmakers in 2016 identified discrimination based on gender as a central problem in Germany. Since then the debate has become more urgent: Initiatives such as ProQuote Film, but also self-organisations of groups with experience of racism as well as representatives of people with disabilities/impairment criticise the marginalisation of women, people with disabilities, from LGBTIQ* communities, people with experience of racism, with disadvantaged social status as well as from the Eastern states in the film business.
With the aim of contributing to the development of an inclusive, fair and appreciative working environment in the film and television industry, a broad alliance of civil society, private and public organisations launched the Vielfalt im Film Initiative (ViF). "The promotion of diversity cannot be achieved without the reduction of discrimination and the reduction of discrimination is hardly possible without a well-founded survey of experiences of discrimination and its structural dimension. We need meaningful data on the overall situation," stresses Daniel Gyamerah, head of our Advocating for Inclusion unit.
Who is represented? Who is missing? How common are which forms of discrimination? For the first time, more than 30,000 filmmakers in the German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) were surveyed about their perspectives and experiences regarding equal opportunities, diversity and discrimination. The online survey was based on the expertise and diverse experiences of the filmmakers. There were therefore questions about the working climate, the professional situation in front of and behind the camera, questions about their assessment of measures to promote equality, inclusion and the consideration of age. In addition, the interviewees were invited to comment on any experiences of discrimination they may have along all the diversity and discrimination dimensions of the General Equality Act (AGG) - i.e. with regard to gender, ethnic origin/racial discrimination, age, disability, sexual identity, religion or belief - and additionally with regard to social status and West German/East German socialisation.
The survey was carried out by Citizens For Europe gUG (CFE) among users of CrewUnited, conceived together with the initiators of Vielfalt im Film and supported by the Federal Antidiscrimination Agency. Our Vielfalt entscheidet-team was scientifically entrusted with the survey.
On the basis of the results, suitable and targeted measures for inclusion, for improving equal opportunities and the working climate have been proposed. The recommendations are made available to policy makers and key players in the film industry so that they can use the expertise and insights gained from the day-to-day work of filmmakers as a resource for strategic decisions to reduce discrimination and promote a fair and appreciative working climate.