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Disabled people are misrepresented on TV

George Robinson in Sex Education
George Robinson in Sex Education Image credit: backuptrust.org.uk

A study has found disabled people and those aged over 50 are not being represented enough on television.

The research carried out by industry body Creative Diversity Network also concluded ethnic minorities and gay people are being over-represented on our screens.

Despite catering for 17 percent of the workforce, disabled people and actors, such as Sex Education’s George Robinson (pictured above), make up just 8.3 percent of people with disabilities who appear on TV.

In comparison black, Asian and minority ethnic people, who represent 13 percent of the workforce, form 20.9 percent of TV appearances.

Lesbian, gay and bisexual people, which make up 6.4 percent of the population, represent 14.2 percent of airtime.

The study also found disabled people only form 6 percent of off-screen credits with the over-50s representing 21.7 percent.

Ethnic minorities were in line with the workforce credited for 13 percent, while lesbian, gay and bisexual people representing 15.6 percent.

Tim Davie, BBC director-general, said: ‘The BBC has prioritised £100million of our TV content budget to drive change over three years which, with our 20 per cent off screen diversity expectation for all new commissions, will permanently shift the dial.’ 

ITV chief Carolyn McCall believes improving disability representation albeit being on or off screen is a ‘big priority’.

George Robinson, who plays Isaac Goodwin in Sex Education, was paralysed in a life-changing rugby accident.