British actors are no longer being considered for jobs with companies on the continent as the impact of Brexit on the entertainment industry begins to take hold, Equity members have warned.
The union has vowed to work with the European Union to safeguard the rights of entertainment workers to take up short-term contracts within the EU, following a motion passed at this year’s ARC.
Proposing the motion, chair of the Screen and New Media Committee Laurence Bouvard, said: “Even though UK nationals can still work on the continent for the moment, projects are starting to take the long view and castings for theatre and film are starting to appear which specify EU nationals only.
“A Netflix production that was going to be based in the UK has now moved to Germany so that it can shoot throughout Europe and they don’t want British actors anymore. British opera graduates are no longer being considered for companies on the continent.”
Bouvard added: “Of course some British nationals will still be able to work in Europe, if they work full time for a bank or a consultancy which has an HR department to sort out a visa, but for us freelance entertainment professionals who don’t have access to such services, the situation looks grim.”
The motion also called on Equity to work with the UK government to simplify the system for EU nationals based in the UK, who are currently “forced to prove the right to work in the UK over and over again”.
Bouvard summarised: “It is now urgent that the union works with the government to come to an arrangement with the EU, concerning freelance workers, to allow nationals to continue working short-term temporary contracts in EU.
“Otherwise, for all of us arts professionals, the barriers to work we potentially face will destroy our careers and a multi-million pound industry.”
For more coverage of the Equity Annual Representative Conference 2019, click here.