Research has commenced on the development of an Anti-Black Racism Policy Framework. The research consists of a landscape review of Anti-Black Racism policies in Canada, US and UK and consultations with Black screen professionals about their experiences with challenges and suggestions for breaking down barriers. The research team will be engaged with a Working Group of Black industry professionals and those with experience developing Anti-Black Racism policies.
Upon completion of the research, the team will develop a framework that will identify Black screen industry values and goals, anti-Black racism policies and advocacy steps to fulfill those policies and goals. Screen industry organizations will be able to use the framework to develop their own Anti-Black Racism policies.
Expected Release Date – March 2023
Bill C-11 Advocacy
Bill C-11 is an opportunity to advocate for greater inclusion of Black talent in Canada’s broadcasting landscape. The bill, broadly speaking, is intended to bring streaming services fully into Canada’s broadcasting system and require them to contribute to the production and promotion of Canadian programs. In June, BSO Executive Director Joan Jenkinson appeared before the House Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to advocate for amending all references in Bill C-11 from “racialized” to “Black and other racialized”, which recognizes the unique challenges and barriers to inclusion presented to many Black Canadians in media. Following that appearance, the committee agreed to modify four of the ten “racialized” references in the bill, a decision that still leaves the legislation open to challenges.
With the remaining six references still unamended, Joan appeared last month before a Senate Committee to advocate for amending all references inBill C-11. Passage of this bill with BSO’s proposed amendment would facilitate the appropriate CRTC regulation to ensure the availability of content that reflects the Black Canadian experience and that Black talent have the opportunities to create that content. The Senate is expected to either amend the legislation further (which would require C-11 to be referred back to the House of Commons) or pass the legislation without amendment by the end of November.
The government is aiming to have C-11 receive Royal Assent by the end of 2022.
CBC License Renewal
In June, the CRTC announced the renewal of the CBC’s license under a new, largely deregulated framework. This framework changed the condition that the CBC must work with independent media producers to develop and create Canadian programming to a mere expectation that it do so. This change means the broadcaster could not be held to any enforceable standard for supporting independent producers.
The BSO and other important industry players, such as the Canadian Media Producers Association, Indigenous Screen Office, l’Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM), ACTRA, and the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC), petitioned for the government for a re-evaluation of the license renewal.
On September 22, 2022, Minister of Canadian Heritage Pablo Rodriquez announced that the federal cabinet was referring the CBC license renewal decision back to the CRTC for reconsideration. We are pleased that the government responded favourably to our petition. Canadian independent producers create content that reflects the needs, interests and lives of Canadians. As Canada’s national public broadcaster, it is essential that the CBC continue to ensure that these productions reach Canadian audiences.
ACTRA Seeks Input on Hair and Makeup
In December 2021, ACTRA filed a policy grievance regarding the inequitable treatment of Black, Indigenous and Persons of Colour members in the application of hair and makeup services on set. ACTRA is now looking for individuals who have lived experience of inequitable hair and makeup treatment to share their experience(s) with the association in support of the grievance. For more information, visit actra.ca/deib/hmu/
ACTRA has also launched a new Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging microsite with information about its EDI activities and resources for members, producers, casting directors and other industry stakeholders: