Ottawa – Canadian stars including Wendy Crewson, Sonja Smits, Fiona Reid, and R.H. Thomson spoke out today about the Canadian TV drama crisis during the first day of CRTC public hearings. ACTRA has been sounding the alarm about the crisis in Canadian television drama for years, and demands that the CRTC fix its disastrous 1999 Television Policy.
“Our culture defines us as a nation yet we can’t hear or see ourselves when regulations encourage Canadian broadcasters to show American drama series and movies,” said ReGenesis star Wendy Crewson. “Canadian broadcasters are filling their prime-time slots with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of U.S.-made drama programs. We’ve been shut out of our own home.”
The CRTC commenced its review of the regulatory framework for Canadian over-the-air television on November 27, 2006. ACTRA formally presents before the CRTC on December 4, 2006.
“These hearings are crucial for fixing the destructive policy that removed spending requirements for Canadian broadcasters as they continue to spend an all-time high on American programming,” said October 1970 star R. H. Thomson. “Canadian stories and dramas are being marginalized more than ever on our public airwaves. We are pleased to see that CRTC has recognized the problem and hope that they will now address it.”
ACTRA’s submission calls for regulations requiring Canada’s private broadcasters to spend at least 7% of their advertising revenues on new Canadian English-language drama programming and to schedule at least two hours more of new Canadian dramas in real prime-time (Sunday to Thursday, 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.).
ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is a national organization of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 21,000 members across Canada – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.