Media professional awarded British Academy funding to look at inequality in TV and movie trade

An professional within the subject of media and tradition is hoping to carry change to the TV and movie trade and get extra folks with disabilities and psychological well being situations into roles, each on and off display screen, due to a brand new analysis venture funded by the British Academy.

Jason Lee, Professor of Movie, Media and Tradition at De Montfort College Leicester (DMU), has been awarded the British Academy Innovation Fellowship value £173,000, to discover why extra folks with disabilities and/or psychological well being situations aren’t being thought-about, to assist tackle a significant abilities hole within the trade.

Professor Jason Lee

For the venture Professor Lee will work carefully with Terry Bamber from movie firm Jones Bamber Productions, who has labored on hit TV reveals akin to Bridgerton and Luther, and main movie franchises together with James Bond, as they mix educational experience {and professional} trade expertise to provide potential options.

Collectively they are going to curate and host workshops with the intention of studying from current analysis and fascinating with trade consultants and college students, and creating an trade portal, whereas Professor Lee, as principal investigator, plans to jot down a sequence of recent books and edit an educational journal based mostly across the venture.

They can even produce two brief movies that supply alternatives for disabled folks and people with psychological well being situations to characteristic in entrance of the digital camera or work behind the scenes, with accompanying documentaries to focus on the filmmaking course of.

“The Innovation Fellowship is a brand new initiative by the British Academy, and an thrilling information switch alternative that we hope will assist us to higher perceive why folks with disabilities are probably the most discriminated towards group within the TV and movie trade,” defined Professor Lee, who can be a chartered psychologist.

“I’ve labored with Terry since 2010 and he brings a wealth of trade information, with fascinating perception into filmmaking.

Terry Bamber
Terry Bamber has labored on main movie franchises and widespread TV reveals

“The opposite factor to notice is that there’s a main abilities hole. The trade is struggling to search out staff who’ve the required abilities, particularly in screenwriting, which is our key focus.

“The intention of this venture is to mix essential and artistic outputs to satisfy the pressing two-fold want for each equality and abilities.”

In 2019, a report revealed by the Artistic Range Community, broadly recognised as probably the most authoritative variety monitor throughout the UK TV trade, discovered that disabled individuals are probably the most underrepresented group of all in tv, making up simply 5.2% of the off-screen workforce and seven.8% on-screen.

In contrast, the present proportion of working-age disabled folks within the UK inhabitants is round 19%.

“The necessity to tackle inequality is already nice but when we don’t make adjustments now, the hole will solely develop,” added Professor Lee.

The venture will run for a yr till February 2023 and culminate in a convention that includes visitor audio system and an outline of the venture outcomes, in addition to the movies produced. The venture can even open up new alternatives for postgraduate college students with an curiosity within the topic.

Terry Bamber stated: “I’m so happy to be working with Jason on this venture. The great alternatives {that a} profession in movie and tv can supply have to be made obtainable to all.

“I’ve gifted colleagues who will probably be part of this venture who don’t perceive the phrase ‘can’t’; due to the British Academy, we are going to make an actual distinction.”


The Innovation Fellowship scheme is scheme designed to allow researchers within the humanities and social sciences to companion with organisations and enterprise within the artistic and cultural, public, personal and coverage sectors to be able to tackle challenges that require revolutionary approaches and options.

For extra details about Professor Lee’s work go to his newest weblog. Anybody hoping to become involved within the venture can contact him straight by emailing

Posted on Thursday 14th April 2022

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