The Old Vic in London has joined the #PullUpOrShutUp campaign in response to calls for equity within the theatre industry. Founded by UOMA Beauty founder Sharon Chuter, the movement calls on businesses to hold themselves accountable by releasing the data of its employee makeup.
As a first action, the venue shared its employee data for the 2019–2020 season to reveal how many black employees work at the theatre. Black people made up zero percent of staff or senior management, while eight percent of The Old Vic's board are Black or Black-British. Conversely, 78 percent of staff, 100 percent of senior management, and 67 percent of the board are white and British. Another 11 percent of staff and eight percent of the board are white of other nationalities.
In addition to the data released, the venue announced an eight-point commitment plan to improve access and visibility. Among the items are an effort to diversify their workforce based on the numbers above, a series of open forums for employees, and a new workplace strategy that includes a zero-tolerance harassment policy.
"The Old Vic is moved and inspired by global calls for wide scale change to the centuries of inequality and oppression faced by Black people," said the London theatre. "The work that was underway before our closure cannot be put on pause in the current crisis. We will move forward apace with our commitments, drawing on the culture of openness, collaboration, compassion, healing, and respect we have worked hard to instill more broadly."
Click here to read the entire plan.