This is such a thorny subject in the media business and always gets paid lip service and very little else I thought maybe I should stumble in with my hobnail boots.
My bug bear is not so much that the industry is almost exclusively higher educated types from wealthy backgrounds but that they make the same stories over and over again. Another movie about the Enigma Project anyone? Even when projects do emerge about working class life it is either patronising, poverty porn rubbish about triumphing over adversity or dodgy geezers or gals doing blags or hustling with a cheeky smile and several notches on the bedpost.
Of course when you check the credits they are mostly made by the very same people from very comfortable backgrounds that have been off with a tourist visa to the bad lands of Britain. Of course only to check it out temporarily and shine a light on some shocking behaviour (as they see it) that needs healing or at the very least reported upon as if it was a lost tribe in the deep undiscovered Amazon jungle. I accept this is all done with the very best of intentions but always sadly, miles from hitting the nail on the head in any meaningful way. In fact one could argue it is not a long way from the vile Victorian pastime of poking the unfortunate in the poorhouse with a long hard stick. We are forced to watch through our fingers as the fabulous, highly trained actors struggle to emulate the body language of the underclass which is something you either have or you don’t and deliver the often clunky dialogue in a desperate effort to emote and move us to tears.
We have such a wealth of amazing stories and wonderful attitudes on this side of the pond which is why we led the world for so long in music and youth culture. There was a time in the post war period where we made hugely successful films for a mass audience before the cinemas became part of some shiny suited wide boy’s property portfolio. It seems that when it comes to films and drama the higher classes are the ones in touch with their soulful sides and have colonised this area as if it was a branch of serious theatre. Time for those from the wrong side of the tracks to flex their gym toned muscles. Can't all be footballers, reality stars or karaoke singers. Now we all have smart phones, any idiot can point a camera! To be continued....