EastEnders casting director Julia Crampsie has criticised the lack of diversity at UK drama schools, adding that the hardest part of her job is sourcing white, working class actors for the BBC soap.
Crampsie has insisted that drama schools should "get out into the community" in order to source a wider range of students, The Stage reports.
She said: "I go into drama schools every year and it's getting less diverse. It's the same old people.
"My worst job is trying to get a white, working-class actor, male, aged 25 to 35 for EastEnders. That is the most difficult area to get.
"They [working-class] actors are definitely not there. And if they are, someone like Eddie Marsan or Daniel Mays doesn't want to work on EastEnders, they are doing movies. It's got worse in the past five years without a doubt."
Ian Kellgren, chief executive of industry body Drama UK, responded to the comments by saying: "They [drama schools] have a massive demand for a small number of places.
"The supply chain up to applications is where much of the problem lies, especially with the education system and cultural factors, as well as fears of student loan debt."
Crampsie made her comments as part of a BBC panel discussion about diversity both on-screen and off.
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