Global calls for racial equality has not spared UK drama schools, whose former students accuse them of facilitating racism. The institutions have apologized and promised to ensure their combat racism.
The killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police department has sparked a global conversation about discrimination and racism. Countries and institutions alike have been engulfed in the debate, deliberately or otherwise, and their past actions are now being scrutinized.
In the UK, the support for the Black Lives Matter movement has spread across the country, with many people joining hands to protest the ugly face of racism and discrimination. Institutions and companies have also joined in support of the movement.
However, some are facing backlash due to their past actions that displayed discrimination and racism towards black, Asian and minority ethnic” (BAME).
UK drama schools called out for hypocrisy
UK drama schools also joined in the call for racial equality in the country. However, former students and staff were not having it with their hypocrisy. They started pointing out to instances where these institutions discriminated against them. Tweet after tweet, students recounted how these institutions did not listen nor care about their discrimination.
Dipo Ola, a former student from Oxford School of Drama narrated his experience in the school including being asked whether he was playing a slave by other students. He said racism and discrimination ran deep in the school and there was no accountability for their actions. He narrated how he was regularly mistaken for another black student who had been dismissed from the school after asking the school to consider increasing the number of BAME staff and plays that relate to the demographic.
Other schools such as the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (Lipa), were also criticized for racism by their former students. Lipa students said racial slurs in the school went unchallenged, and therefore, they read hypocrisy when the institute’s principal, Mark Featherstone-Witty, released a statement in support of the Black Lives Matter.
Lipa has since withdrawn the statement as calls for leadership change in the institution by students grew.
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada), the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (Alra), the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (Lipa) apologized for their past actions and promised to take action to combat racism in their institutions.
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