The BBC has been hit with complaints after the documentary Why is Covid Killing People of Colour? aired earlier this month, with some accusing it of racism.
The film, presented by David Harewood, exposed the ‘shameful’ health inequalities in the UK exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The broadcaster’s internal regulator released its latest complaints report, which confirmed that it received complaints from unhappy viewers about the documentary.
The complaints accused the film of being ‘racist or biased in favour of the theory that structural racism might explain disparities in Covid-19 outcomes’.
The BBC responded by stating: ‘It has been confirmed by the Health Secretary, the Office for National Statistics and Public Health England that Covid-19 has disproportionately affected people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in England.
‘This programme considers some of the possible reasons for this. It looks at why people from BAME backgrounds are more likely to be employed in public facing key worker roles in which they are exposed to coronavirus, and why there is a higher prevalence of some pre-existing conditions, which affect the chances of surviving Covid-19, in these communities.’
The broadcaster added: ‘The programme explores the link between these issues and deprivation, and asks whether structural racism might also play a role.
‘Viewers hear a range of experts discussing possible explanations for this disparity. There is no suggestion in the programme that people from other ethnic groups have not also been seriously affected by Covid-19.’
Why is Covid Killing People of Colour? explored why those from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are three times more likely to die of Covid-19 than white people.
It saw actor David meet medical professionals, scientists and bereaved families to discover how systemic racism and deprivation had an impact on the death toll of the virus.
‘As a 55-year-old black man, I am three times more likely to die of Covid-19 than a white man my age,’ he said in the film.
‘But Covid-19 is just one part of a scandalous pattern of health inequality in Britain.’
After the actor discovered in the film that 95% of doctors who have died from coronavirus are from BAME backgrounds, he said: ‘I think it’s shameful that the NHS is reliant on the work of ethnic minorities but many of them are the employees who feel the least protected.’
Why is Covid Killing People of Colour? Is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
Credit: Original article published here.