Our mission is to break down barriers that prevent people from working class backgrounds having access to jobs. We strive to help give working class people the same resources and opportunities the middle and upper class artists have. We want social mobility to be a priority, within the creative freelance industry, and the wider economy.
There are two types of classism that working class people face: Structural classism, and casual classism.
Structural Classism is when there are certain laws, policies or systems that exclude or make difficult for working class people. The creative industry in particular is structurally classist, making it impossible for working class artists to enter, let alone thrive in the industry. You literally have to pay to have a job in the arts; whether that is having to pay for educational qualifications, tools, or your free time. This means that people from working class backgrounds, who have limited access to such conditions have a hard time getting their foot in the door. This is what we call structural classism.
This needs to change.
Casual classism sounds a little bit like this :
- ‘You can’t expect people to take you seriously if you speak like that’.
- ‘Of course you didn’t get the job wearing a cheap suit like that to the interview.’
- ‘What do you mean you can’t do a free internship – if you really wanted to break in to this industry you’d make it work’
- ‘What do you mean you can’t come to the audition because you don’t have childcare? There are thousands of other actresses who would make it work, so why can’t you?’
- ‘Explain this gap in your resume’
- ‘Well there are scholarships and grants for people like you, the only thing you’d have to cover is your living costs…’
- ‘If you wanted it enough you’d find the time’
- ‘If you wanted it enough you’d find the money’
- ‘If you wanted it enough you’d find the rich parents’
…Ok so the last one we made up. But the idea is the same! These are only ever said by gatekeepers, who cannot imagine that someone from a different background many not have had the same opportunities and privileges as them.
Just because someone doesn’t speak a certain way, wear certain clothing, or live in a certain area, does not mean that they have any less creative talent than someone who does. Working class artists have stories to tell, experiences to share and talent to be appreciated. So why can’t working class artists tell their own stories, instead of having their cultures appropriated by the privileged elite?
How Can we Tackle Classism!
Our mission is to stop classism, by offering training to companies and making class a protected characteristic under the Equality Act.
You can’t choose your class background, so someone discriminating against you for it should be illegal.
This isn’t going to happen overnight, but we believe that targeting the social structures that prevent working class artists from thriving (or even entering) the creative freelance industry is the place to start.
It is society that needs to change, not working class people.