2020 Annual Report

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An alternative Qweens’ Speech celebrating all legions of diversity

Story synopsis

  • In 2019 Deloitte Digital's creative agency ACNE filmed ‘Long Live Our Qweens’ – an alternative Christmas address celebrating LGBTQ+ inclusivity.
  • Some of Britain's leading LGBTQ+ talent, including non-binary Grammy-winner Sam Smith and trans activist and model Munroe Bergdorf, starred in it.
  • With widespread acclaim, the film was awarded best film for positive change at the prestigious Creative Circle UK awards.

It’s 2019. Northern Ireland has just legalised same-sex marriage and non-binary pronoun ‘They’ is Merriam Webster’s word of the year.

Yet being gay is still illegal in over 70 countries and 39% of British LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past twelve months.

When it comes to equality for the LGBTQ+ community, there’s still a long way to go.

With the optimism of a new year on the horizon, Deloitte Digital’s creative agency ACNE was commissioned to make a film to give a voice to those who are often marginalised, excluded, or even facing persecution because of their sexuality or gender.

“Long Live our Qweens”

Adam Springfeldt, executive creative director, of ACNE explained: “Since 1952, the Queen has been addressing the nation in her annual Christmas message.

“In 2019, our alternative message celebrated the LGBTQ+ community, highlighting the urgent message that the UK needed to hear – that of queer liberation, the fight for LGBTQ+ rights and solidarity with people of all sexualities and identities.”

As no one ‘Qween’ could ever speak for such a diverse group, the team cast some of Britain's leading LGBTQ+ creatives, musicians, designers and activists to play a part in the end of year message.

The cast were active and visible representatives of the LGBTQ+ community known for sharing progressive views publicly, including non-binary Grammy-winner Sam Smith, trans activist and model Munroe Bergdorf and UK Black Pride Founder Lady Phyll.

The creative process was an inclusive one, with the cast contributing to the scriptwriting process to make sure content was authentic and resonated with their communities and allies, as well as a mainstream audience.

In the message, each ‘Qween’ shared their highs and lows of 2019, as well as their hopes for 2020.

“Let 2020 be the year of the United Qweendom”

Directed by duo Zhang + Knight, the film was premiered exclusively by style magazine Dazed on 23rd December.

After this premiere and a successful teaser campaign launched on the social media channels of the eight ‘Qweens’, the film sparked a conversation about inclusivity, identity and what it means to be LGBTQ+ in Britain today.

Zhang + Knight, said: “When ACNE came to us with this idea for a project we both knew instantly that we had to do it. As gay directors we rarely get to see queer pieces of work as meaningful and carefully considered as ‘Qweens' Speech’. It was such a pleasure to bring this script to life.”

“Our intention was not just to create a film for the community itself, but to reach audiences outside of and beyond this community; changing perceptions and setting the agenda for mainstream conversations about LGBTQ+ socio-political issues through the medium of a visually stunning film and a poignant script” added Jack Howard, head of content at ACNE.

Positive change

The film was covered by national print and online media and received an overwhelmingly positive response on social media.

In June it was also awarded ‘best film for positive change’ at the revered Creative Circle UK awards

“Diversity should be celebrated in all forms but the fact remains that there is still more to do to support LGBTQ+ rights in our homes, our communities and society as a whole,” ACNE’s Adam added.

“Collaborating with this talented group of artists created a film through which we inspired more people to share this message during the Christmas period - a time of hope, love and goodwill – and encourage people to lay a path for further inclusivity in 2020.”

Pride at Deloitte – all year round

Pride isn’t just a once-a-year celebration at our firm, it’s part of our culture.

We want everyone at Deloitte to feel able to be themselves at work - to have a voice, be respected, and achieve, regardless of ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality or any other characteristic.

We are proud that Deloitte Global received the top score in the Workplace Pride Global Benchmark 2019, which is a measure that evaluates initiatives supporting the LGBTQ+ community in the workplace.

Our LGBTQ+ network Globe makes an ongoing contribution to our firm, alongside Wave, which is an LGBTQ+ network for more junior staff, established with some of our biggest clients

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