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Hundreds complain to BBC over Vicar of Dibley honouring Black Lives Matter

Hundreds of viewers have complained to the BBC over The Vicar Of Dibley honouring Black Lives Matter.

The broadcaster has received 266 complaints over a recent scene in the comedy which saw Dawn French’s character Reverend Geraldine Granger take the knee and deliver a sermon about racism.

The scene shows Geraldine tell the audience that she has been preoccupied with the ‘horror show’ of George Floyd’s death in 2020.

Mr Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed in May while being arrested by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sparking anti-racism protests around the world.

The scene from the BBC sitcom saw Geraldine go on to say in a sermon that the fictional Oxfordshire village in which the show is set, is ‘not the most diverse community’.

She added: ‘But I don’t think it matters where you are from. I think it matters that you do something about it, because Jesus would, wouldn’t he?

Dawn French returned in the sitcom this year (Picture: BBC/Tiger Aspect Productions Ltd/Des Willie)

‘And, listen, I am aware all lives matter, obviously, but until all lives matter the same we are doing something very wrong. So I think we need to focus on justice for a huge chunk of our countrymen and women who seem to have a very bad, weird deal from the day they are born.’

Earlier this month, French also appeared to dismiss complaints about the BLM reference.


Amid criticism on social media from some who claimed the scene showed a lack of impartiality from the BBC, she tweeted: ‘A lovely calm day, full of humanity, compassion and support all round…’

The 63-year-old later clarified in the comments that she was being ‘a tad ironic’.

Recent episodes of The Vicar Of Dibley have also paid tribute to the NHS and departed members of the cast Emma Chambers and Roger Lloyd Pack.

Additional reporting by PA

The Vicar of Dibley is available on BBC iPlayer

What is Ofcom and what does it cover?

Ofcom is the regulator for the communications services that we use and rely on each day.

The watchdog makes sure people get the best from their broadband, home phone and mobile services, as well as keeping an eye on TV and radio.

Ofcom deals with most content on television, radio and video-on-demand services, including the BBC. However, if your complaint is about something you saw or heard in a BBC programme, you may need to complain to the BBC first.

Its rules for television and radio programmes are set out in the Broadcasting Code.

The rules in the Broadcasting Code also apply to the BBC iPlayer.

This Broadcasting Code is the rule book that broadcasters have to follow and it covers a number of areas, including; protecting the under-18s, protecting audiences from harmful and/or offensive material and ensuring that news, in whatever form, is reported with due accuracy and presented with due impartiality.

Audiences can complain to Ofcom if they believe a breach of the Broadcasting Code has been made.

Every time Ofcom receives a complaint from a viewer or listener, they assess it to see if it needs further investigation.

If Ofcom decide to investigate, they will include the case in a list of new investigations, published in the Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin.

An investigation is a formal process which can take some time depending on the complexity of the issues involved.

Ofcom can also launch investigations in the absence of a complaint from a viewer or listener.

Credit: Original article published here.

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