Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

Too Many Black And Asian Faces On TV

Alright, alright... it's not what you probably think it's going to be, so don't get too excited and just read the article below. It's a familiar lament I'm sure we've all heard stateside... obviously the Brits are experiencing similar "difficulties." So, I suppose the question is: would we prefer to see false/manufactured/simplistic depictions of "ethnic minority" life on screen or nothing at all? The fact that those seem to be our only options is, I suppose, the essence of the BBC director's rant.

Too many black and Asian faces on TV, says BBC director

Broadcasters have overcompensated for their lack of executives from ethnic minorities by putting too many black and Asian faces on screen, a leading television industry figure said last night.

Samir Shah, a member of the BBC's board of directors, said this had led to a "world of deracinated coloured people flickering across our screens - to the irritation of many viewers and the embarrassment of the very people such actions are meant to appease".

Shah, a former BBC head of current affairs who now runs an independent production company, Juniper, as well as being a non-executive director of the corporation, used a speech to the Royal Television Society to call for current TV industry diversity policies to be ditched because they were not working.

In an echo of the speech earlier this year by comedian Lenny Henry, who bemoaned the lack of diversity in British broadcasting, Shah said UK television had to go back to the drawing board to increase the number of black and Asian executives.

Speaking to an audience of television insiders, Shah said: "The difficult truth I want you to accept is this: the equal opportunity policies we have followed over the last 30 years simply have not worked.

"Despite 30 years of trying, the upper reaches of our industry, the positions of real creative power in British broadcasting, are still controlled by a metropolitan, largely liberal, white, middle-class, cultural elite - and, until recently, largely male and largely Oxbridge.

Read the rest of it HERE.


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