Steve on Granada’s lack of diversity

Yes, Granada had an appalling record in terms of diversity. When I worked at Granada, I think we counted six black people in the company. Yes, there was just six, maybe seven out of a workforce of more than 1,000, which is a disgrace. An utter disgrace. A very good friend of mine, Wallen Mattie, who is from the afro-Caribbean community in Moss Side, was in a lot of discussions with the sixth floor, with management, about trying to redress the balance and give opportunities to more black people. Of course, Granada would say, “Well, we advertise, and no black people apply for jobs,” which is probably true. But he decided to try and tackle it from a different angle. So Wallen, and I think Charlie Lauder also was involved in it, they came up with a scheme with the sixth floor, that they would try and set up a scheme, a kind of internship, where specific adverts would be put out to the black community, only the black community could apply, only the black community could be appointed. And the idea was to appoint 12 people, they would come and work at Granada, they would be paid, and they would be trained. And at the end of a number of months, six months or whatever it was, if we felt they were up to it, they would be given a permanent job. I helped with the training. As I say, Wallen was a very good friend of mine. And we trained them up as researchers and journalists, trained them up to learn about how film worked, about how studio worked – how to make a programme, basically. And they all worked on Granada Reports and one or two of the local programmes. And I don’t know how successful it was really, because I think two people were given contracts at the end of the term. Some people just didn’t stick the six months, went off and did other things, or didn’t enjoy it. Fair enough. But it was an attempt to try and redress the balance. I mean, I don’t know what the situation is now, I have no idea whether Granada has really improved it. But we tried. We did get into the black community. Because as Wallen kept saying, “There are stories in the black community that we need to get out.” And it needed people inside the black community to come with those stories.

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