Feature

The BBC as a bastion of whiteness.

The week's news at a glance.

United Kingdom

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
The Independent

The BBC isn’t remotely ashamed of its blinding “whiteness,” said Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in the London Independent. Most major shows have not a single black or brown anchor. All the adventure and travel programs feature “a white male presenter” as the typical Briton, to be contrasted with the foreigners he encounters on his journeys. The short list of hopefuls to replace the popular naturalist David Attenborough is uniformly white. The Top Gear show, in which an obnoxious jerk does dangerous stunts in cars, has always been a white-only affair. Apparently they can’t find “any young, cocky black men who love cars.” Most infuriating is that nearly every cooking show features a white chef. “We Asian and black Britons brought exciting food to this country, dammit, and now have to watch the appropriators sell it back to us with imperial vanity.” The BBC is aware of its lack of diversity. But the mood there is so virulently against political correctness that they consider it a point of honor not to use affirmative action. “Once, at least, there was some institutional guilt over our exclusion.” These days, “they aren’t even bothering.”

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