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Shocking absence of black staff among BBC top-earners & decision-makers

28 July 2017

Revelations about the salaries of more than £150,000 paid to BBC 'talent', covering news and entertainment on television and radio, have both shocked and dismayed the NUJ's black members council (BMC) because of the indisputable inequality of pay in terms of race and gender.

The BMC fully understands and shares the sense of outrage about the BBC's marked gender pay gap, with women paid much less than their male counterparts and applauds the fight that has started to correct this glaring disparity.

We are also deeply concerned about the gross inequality of pay that disproportionally and unfairly affects African, Caribbean and Asian BBC staff. Shockingly just 10 people on the list of those earning more than £150,000 a year were black and they all tended to fall into the lower end of the earnings scale.

We note that the 96 names on the 'official' talent list are a tiny fraction of all the faces and voices on the BBC earning over £150,000 because big names, use devices like companies to get paid. And the list does not include independent production companies.

Marc Wadsworth, chair of the BMC, said:

"We are extremely disappointed at the lack of press and broadcast coverage about the BBC's race pay gap. This points to the wider and continuing pernicious problem of a white, male, middle-class dominated media where there is a clear absence of minority voices in senior positions, particularly behind the scenes in production, who can put an important issue like this on the news agenda.
"The BMC backs the NUJ’s demand that there should be urgent talks with the BBC and Ofcom to get them to launch a course of action to ensure that the BBC's race pay gap and the under-representation of black staff in decision-making positions is tackled immediately.
"The BMC is committed to speaking out about and challenging, in the strongest terms, the injustices faced by black and other ethnic minority media workers and campaigning to bring about positive and lasting change to improve the situation."

Tags: , equality, diversity, employment, pay, pay and conditions, pay parity, discrimination, bbc, bbc annual report, public service broadcasting, black members, black members' council