Wednesday 25 February 2009

No Over 40s Please

Today The Stage reports that leading British screenwriters have alleged that UK television broadcasters are biased against drama that feature female characters over the age of 40.

This information has come out as a result of the Equity petition on gender/age imbalance in television drama in the UK, because people pointed out that writers needed to do more to portray a variety of roles for women.

But writers have argued that they often have little say over characters' ages.

One, who did not want to be named, said: "The problem lies with commissioners, who only want to appeal to the young. A case in point might be the BBC's Mistresses, which would arguably be all the more interesting for having a range of mistresses of all ages and backgrounds, as in real life."

The writer continued: "Writers would love to have free rein to portray any age, sex, class, but are constantly getting the message from broadcasters that if you do want to get your script made, the only women they want to see are under 40."

Another writer said commissioners favour male writers, who tend to write about men.

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