Berkshire

Windsor Fringe rejects director for being a woman

Femi Fagunwa
Image caption Femi Fagunwa applied to be a director as part of the Kenneth Branagh New Writing Awards

A woman was turned down for a drama directing job by festival organisers who said "a male was better" for the role.

Femi Fagunwa applied to a call-out by the Windsor Fringe Festival to take on plays submitted by amateur playwrights for a drama award.

Ms Fagunwa received an e-mail saying her gender ruled her out of the job.

In a statement the Windsor Fringe said it "apologised for the error in judgment of the e-mail content".

Ms Fagunwa had applied to direct a 30-minute one-act play for the fringe festival's 13th Kenneth Branagh Award for New Drama Writing.

She said: "I was really shocked. I could take not being given it because I was not qualified, or that there was someone better, but they used my gender as a reason not to choose me.

"There was nothing to misunderstand - those are the words they wrote; they wrote that a male was better."

Festival chairman Dr Mike Denny and head of drama awards Ann Trewartha said in a joint statement: "The Windsor Fringe would like to apologise for the unacceptable contents of an e-mail sent to one of our applicant directors for the drama award.

"We deeply regret any offence caused by the contents of the email."

Image caption The fringe festival is preparing for its 13th Kenneth Branagh Award for New Drama Writing

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