An actor has won a pregnancy discrimination case after being dropped from a BBC television adaptation of a JK Rowling book.
Under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, Rowling has written five novels about private detective Cormoran Strike along with his partner, Robin Ellacott. The books were later adapted for the BBC.
Antonia Kinlay appeared in the 2018 adaptation of Career of Evil and was expected to return in the follow-up.
However, her role was recast after she became pregnant because producers thought audiences would be confused by her character’s changed appearance.
Now, an employment tribunal has upheld her claim and Kinlay has been awarded an £11,000 payout, according to BBC news.
The production company behind the BBC adaptations of Rowling’s Cormoran Strike novels claimed it would have cost £25,000 to digitally alter shots involving Ms Kinlay.
However, the tribunal judges said it would have been possible to conceal the pregnancy “through the use of costume, camera angle, props, the positioning of other actors and make-up if appropriate”.
The production company later said it feels “disappointed” by the decision.
In a statement, Bronte Film and TV said: “The decision not to cast Antonia Kinlay was made wholly in good faith.”
“We concluded that there was a genuine occupational requirement for the actor playing the role of Sarah Shadlock not to be visibly pregnant given the role she would be required to play, the scenes she would be required to appear in, and the nature of the storyline, which we believe could not be adapted to accommodate an actor in the visible later stages of pregnancy.”
Kinlay was awarded £6,000 for injury to feelings and £4,370.75 for loss of earnings. With interest, her award came to around £11,690.