BAFTA has said that a third of members surveyed in a recent polled are considering quitting the British television industry amid the perfect storm of a commissioning drought and strikes.
The organization questioned 1,000 of its members ahead of the Edinburgh TV Festival, with 26% providing responses about their place and future within the business.
A third of those who responded said they have “considered” or are “seriously considered” leaving the industry, according to the research.
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The results were announced by BAFTA CEO Jane Millichip during an Edinburgh panel session titled ‘Should I Stay, or Should I Go? How to Champion and Retain Talent in Uncertain Times.’
Some 63% of BAFTA members said they had less work than before the pandemic, while 20% reported having been out of employment for more than three months.
Members surveyed said they were bridging the gap in their finances by: relying on savings (63%), taking on more junior roles (13%), turning to loans from family and friends (12.5%), finding work outside of TV (12%), and applying for benefits (6%).
Some 70% surveyed were concerned that the downturn will lead to a loss of talent from the industry and the same percentage said they worried about the impact on mental health.
Freelancer woes have quickly become a dominant theme of the 2023 Edinburgh TV Festival, with industry leaders weighing up ideas around making television more sustainable.
Millichip said: “Our recent members’ survey of freelancers working in the TV industry shows many are struggling – with almost two thirds confirming the slowdown in work is the worst they have experienced in recent years.
“The findings underscore the risk of a brain drain on the industry’s current trajectory – particularly those from underrepresented groups already facing intersectional barriers to progression, those with caring responsibilities, and those without an existing financial cushion or the bank of mum and dad to fall back on.”
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