June 3, 2020 

UBCP/ACTRA Statement Regarding Equity and Inclusion in the Current Climate of Structural Racism

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn challenges us all to protect the health of ourselves and our loved ones and to keep our livelihoods and industry alive. It has also demonstrated the insidious nature of structural racism. In Canada, people of colour and Black people in particular have been most affected by the virus and the economic decline. And while all this is happening we have borne witness to a number of violent murders of Black people at the hands of the police. 

The brutality is not new, but we are still shaken to the core by the callous nature of some of those who are supposed to protect and serve. We call upon those in leadership to stand with and take action on behalf of our Black sisters and brothers in Canada and worldwide. It is not enough to post a hashtag or nod your head, now is the time for all of us to create spaces where Black people, people of colour and Indigenous people can live up to their limitless potential without fear of persecution, discrimination or execution.  Anti-racism work begins when individuals and the collective begin to dig deep into their own discomfort and root out the virus of racism. Every single one of us must engage in this work.

As workers in the motion picture industry we are aware of the myriad of ways that media supports and propels racist mythologies that undermine black liberation. However, we are also aware of the opportunities that we have through film and television to re-frame the social discourse and engage in anti-racist storytelling that centers black voices and experiences. In this light, we call upon all stakeholders and workers in the BC film industry to do their part to align our film industry with our anti-racist values.

As we re-start and rebuild the BC film industry, we must remain committed to equity and inclusion, and embed these values in all aspects of our work.

“We cannot wait to seek justice until ’things get back to normal,’ now is the time to give everyone a seat at the table. The time for equity and inclusion is now and forever” said Angela Moore, Chair of the UBCP/ACTRA Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

The Union of British Columbia Performers (UBCP/ACTRA) is an autonomous branch of ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists), the national organization of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada.

UBCP/ACTRA’s more than 7,000 Members are an integral part of the approximately 25,000 Performers who have come together to build ACTRA, the strongest Union of cultural workers in Canada.

For more information: UBCP/ACTRA Communications: info@ubcp.com