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Updated: You can't say that!...

BBC News responds to complaints about the factual use of the word 'nigger' whilst reporting what was said during a crime


Link Here9th August 2020
The BBC has issued a statement after a news reporter used the word 'nigger' when relaying how the word word used in a racially motivated crime.

Social Affairs correspondent Fiona Lamdin was fronting a segment about a black NHS worker who was hit by a car in a suspected racially aggravated assault, when she said the word whilst recalling racist language shouted at the victim by the attackers.

Viewers of the BBC report took to Twitter to criticise the reporter's use of the word, with one user writing : A white reporter just said the N word on BBC News...am I hearing this correctly? Another wrote about how they were absolutely flabbergasted at the news reporter's choice of language, adding: Have they apologised for this disgusting behaviour?

The BBC is also receiving complaints about the broadcast. Ofcom reported that it had received 280 complaints about the issue.

In a statement about the broadcast, the BBC wrote on its website:

Clearly we would never want our reporting to become the focus of such an important story. We have listened to what people have had to say about the use of the word and we accept that this has caused offence but we would like people to understand why we took the decision we did.

This story was an important piece of journalism about a shocking incident. It was originally reported by some as a hit and run, but investigations indicated that racist language was used at the scene and it was then treated by the police as a racially aggravated attack.

The victim's family were anxious the incident should be seen and understood by the wider public. It's for this reason they asked us specifically to show the photos of this man's injuries and were also determined that we should report the racist language, in full, alleged to have been spoken by the occupants of the car.

Notwithstanding the family's wishes, we independently considered whether the use of the word was editorially justified given the context. The word is used on air rarely, and in this case, as with all cases, the decision to use it in full was made by a team of people including a number of senior editorial figures.

You are, of course, right that the word is highly offensive and we completely accept and understand why people have been upset by its use. The decision to use the word was not taken lightly and without considerable detailed thought: we were aware that it would cause offence. But, in this specific context we felt the need to explain, and report, not just the injuries but, given their alleged extreme nature, the words alleged to have been used - a position which, as we have said, was supported by the family and the victim.

These are difficult judgements but the context is very important in this particular case.

We believe we gave adequate warnings that upsetting images and language would be used and we will continue to pursue this story.

Update: 18,600 complaints

6th August 2020. See article from bbc.co.uk

The BBC has received more than 18,600 complaints about the factual use of the word 'nigger' in a TV news report.

Broadcast regulator Ofcom said it received 384 complaints about the same report.

In its fortnightly bulletin, the BBC said it had received 18,656 complaints about the incident by Sunday 2 August. That makes it the second-most complained about incident since the BBC began using its current system in 2017. Only Newsnight's biased opening monologue about Dominic Cummings in May received more, with 23,674.

Update: The left eats itself and so the BBC has to offer grovelling apology

9th August 2020. See article from bbc.co.uk

BBC director general Tony Hall has apologised and said a mistake was made after a news report containing a factual use of the word 'nigger' was broadcast last month.

The BBC initially defended the use of the slur after more than 18,600 complaints were made.

Hall said he now accepts the BBC should have taken a different approach. In an email, sent to all BBC staff, Hall said:

I recognise that we have ended up creating distress amongst many people.

In his message, Hall emphasised it was the BBC's intention was to highlight an alleged racist attack. He said:

This is important journalism which the BBC should be reporting on and we will continue to do so. Yet despite these good intentions, I recognise that we have ended up creating distress amongst many people.

The BBC now accepts that we should have taken a different approach at the time of broadcast and we are very sorry for that. We will now be strengthening our guidance on offensive language across our output.

Every organisation should be able to acknowledge when it has made a mistake. We made one here.

 

 

The Next Step...

BBC receives complaints about a same sex kiss in a children's TV show


Link Here3rd August 2020

The BBC has defended itself following complaints about airing a teenage same-sex kiss in a CBBC show.

About 100 viewers objected to a scene in which two girls share a kiss following a dance. It was shown in an episode of Canadian kids' TV show The Next Step which was broadcast in July.

The BBC confirmed online that complaints had been received about the storyline. The BBC explained that the kiss was part of its morality campaign to 'educate' kids in its progressive values. The BBC said:

This is an important part of our mission to make sure that every child feels like they belong, that they are safe, and that they can be who they want to be,

We believe that the storyline, and the kiss, was handled with sensitivity and without sensationalism, following as it did the portrayal of Jude and Cleo's developing relationship. And I'm afraid we do not agree that it was inappropriate for the audience age.

CBBC regularly portrays heterosexual young people dating, falling in love, and kissing. And it is an important way of showing children what respectful, kind and loving relationships look like.

Same-sex relationships have already featured in other CBBC shows such as Jamie Johnson, 4 O Clock Club, Dixie and Marrying Mum and Dad, and the first same-sex kiss on CBBC was in fact in Byker Grove, many years ago.

 

 

No Country For Young Women...

The BBC tries to defend its racist and divisive social media post that it was forced to take down after a public backlash


Link Here16th July 2020

No Country For Young Women
BBC Sounds, 30 June 2020 16 July 2020

Summary of complaint

We received some complaints about the content of the podcast, No Country For Young Women, and a BBC social media post which promoted it.

Our response

The comments which prompted a reaction were not part of the podcast, and featured only in a short social media clip, which we've removed. The podcast episode itself is an in-depth and broad discussion on racism, class, feminism and stereotypes.

No Country For Young Women is a long running podcast series which predominantly explores the experiences of young black and Asian women in the UK. It features in-depth discussions with a wide variety of guests, who share views on important and complex topics in a way that is relevant to the conversations of many young people.

Some listeners felt that opposing views should have been included in the same discussion in the interest of balance, but this isn't required as a matter of course. Due impartiality takes into account the context of the series. It allows for a range of input to be heard over a period of time too, rather than within each and every edition. With No Country For Young Women, each topic is handled through the lens of the hosts, Sadia Azmat & Monty Onanuga, and their guests' experiences and backgrounds. Some of these themes have had very recent developments and the discussion is sure to evolve -- we may return to similar topics at a later date.

 

 

Updated: Did I mention the war on free speech?...

The cowardly BBC bans Fawlty Towers over racial sensitivities


Link Here13th June 2020
An episode of sitcom Fawlty Towers has been taken off UKTV's streaming service because it contains racial jokes. The BBC-owned platform said it had made The Germans unavailable while it carries out a review.

In the 1975 episode, Basil Fawlty declares don't mention the war around German guests, while the Major uses the dated term 'wogs' about the West Indies cricket team.

Actor and creator John Cleese attacked the 'cowardly' BBC describing the move as stupid. Speaking to The Age newspaper, he said the episode was clearly a critique of racist attitudes:

One of the things I've learned in the last 180 years is that people have very different senses of humour. Some of them understand that if you put nonsense words into the mouth of someone you want to make fun of, you're not broadcasting their views, you're making fun of them.

A UKTV spokesman said:

UKTV has temporarily removed an episode of Fawlty Towers The Germans from Gold's Box Set. The episode contains racial slurs so we are taking the episode down while we review it. We regularly review older content to ensure it meets audience expectations and are particularly aware of the impact of outdated language. Some shows carry warnings and others are edited. We want to take time to consider our options for this episode.

The Germans is still available to view on Britbox, which is part-owned by the BBC, with a message saying it contains some offensive racial language of the time and upsetting scenes. It is also on Netflix, carrying a warning about language, [and] discrimination.

Else where there have been a few similar complaints about jokes on ITV's Ant & Dec's Saturday Takeaway and the BBC's Gavin and Stacey.

Update: Reinstated. Maybe it was the BBC censorship that caused the most offence.

13th June 2020. See article from bbc.co.uk

A classic episode of the comedy Fawlty Towers will be reinstated to streaming service UKTV but with a warning about offensive content and language. A UKTV statement said:

 We already offer guidance to viewers across some of our classic comedy titles, but we recognise that more contextual information can be required on our archive comedy, so we will be adding extra guidance and warnings to the front of programmes to highlight potentially offensive content and language.

We will reinstate Fawlty Towers once that extra guidance has been added, which we expect will be in the coming days.

We will continue to look at what content is on offer as we always have done.

Offsite Comment: Now even Fawlty Towers is being erased

13th June 2020. See article from spiked-online.com   by Brendan O'Neill

The crazed witch-hunt against offensive culture is completely out of control.

 

 

Littler choice...

BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Britbox ban Little Britain and Come Fly With Me


Link Here9th June 2020
Netflix , BBC iPlayer and BritBox have removed comedy series Little Britain from their platforms amid PC concerns about its use of blackface.

Netflix pulled the BBC series on Friday. Netflix has also dropped the comedians' airport mockumentary Come Fly With Me . BBC iPlayer and BritBox have also ditched Little Britain from their platforms this week.

A BBC spokesman told Variety:

There's a lot of historical programming available on BBC iPlayer which we regularly review. Times have changed since 'Little Britain' first aired, so it is not currently available on BBC iPlayer.

BritBox also confirmed that Little Britain was no longer on the service, adding that Come Fly With Me had not been available for six months.

Little Britain first aired in 2003, while Come Fly With Me debuted in 2010. Both series saw the comedians play characters from different ethnic backgrounds with the use of make-up. In Come Fly With Me, Lucas and Walliams wore make up for characters including airport worker Taaj, passenger liaison officer Moses Beacon, and airline boss Omar Baba while Walliams also starred as health-spa guest Desiree Devere in Little Britain.

 

 

Commented: Fury, contempt, and anguish...

BBC responds to complaints about Emily Maitlis' anti-government bias on Newsnight


Link Here29th May 2020
Newsnight has taken an extraordinarily aggressive stance against the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis. The majority of its reports are aimed at rubbishing government decisions.

Emily Maitlis opened the programme on 26th May:

Dominic Cummings broke the rules, the country can see that, and it's shocked the government cannot.

The longer ministers and prime minister tell us he worked within them, the more angry the response to this scandal is likely to be.

He was the man, remember, who always got the public mood, he tagged the lazy label of "elite" on those who disagreed.

He should understand that public mood now. One of fury, contempt, and anguish.

He made those who struggled to keep to the rules feel like fools, and has allowed many more to assume they can now flout them.

The prime minister knows all this, but despite the resignation of one minister, growing unease from his backbenchers, a dramatic early warning from the polls, and a deep national disquiet, Boris Johnson has chosen to ignore it.

Tonight, we consider what this blind loyalty tells us about the workings of Number 10. We do not expect to be joined by a government minister, but that won't stop us asking the question.'

This kicked off a lively debate resulting an official response from the BBC:

Summary of complaint

We received complaints about the introduction to the programme.

Our response

The BBC must uphold the highest standards of due impartiality in its news output. We've reviewed the entirety of last night's Newsnight, including the opening section, and while we believe the programme contained fair, reasonable and rigorous journalism, we feel that we should have done more to make clear the introduction was a summary of the questions we would examine, with all the accompanying evidence, in the rest of the programme. As it was, we believe the introduction we broadcast did not meet our standards of due impartiality. Our staff have been reminded of the guidelines.

Update: Censored whilst claiming to be uncensored

29th May 2020. See article from dailymail.co.uk

Ofcom has revealed that Emily Maitlis' Newsnight monologue about Dominic Cummings and the blind loyalty of his boss Boris Johnson has sparked 247 complaints. Ofcom has noted that the BBC will consider the complaints in the first instance and that Ofcom may investigate thereafter.

The BBC is claimed to have had ten times as many complaints from viewers than the UK's broadcasting regulator but is refusing to release any figures for up to a fortnight. The Guido Fawkes blog has claimed the corporation has received 18,158 complaints in 24 hours and the figure is still going up, although that number could also include complaints sent in by Ms Maitlis' supporters who have rushed to slam the bosses who censured her.

Offsite Comment: It was Emily Maitlis who broke the rules

29th May 2020. See article from spiked-online.com by Tom Slater

It seems like the entire broadcast media have lost the plot.

 

Update: A few more complaints

30th May 2020. See article from dailymail.co.uk

The BBC has received more than 40,000 complaints in only two days after comments by presenter Emily Maitlis sparked an impartiality row.

According to an insider, there have been just over 20,000 people who thought Miss Maitlis's introduction had not been impartial, while just under 20,000 were angry about the BBC's statement.

Some complaints have not been categorised yet. Regulator Ofcom said it had received 366 complaints about the issue.

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