A band who were due to perform on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two have claimed they were cut after asking to be paid for the performance.
Amaraterra, a band who performs traditional songs and dances from Salento in southern Italy, said that they were recently approached by BBC producers who were interested in having them appear on the Strictly spin-off show to accompany professional dancers Nadiya Bychkova and Graziano Di Prima as they performed a routine.
When the musicians requested that they be paid by the BBC for working for a day, they allegedly received an email response which read: ‘We just don’t have money in the budget to pay for contributors’.
The band were reportedly offered a free meal instead as compensation, in addition to the a ‘decent amount of screen time, as well as a mention of your group name’, to help boost their online platform.
They were allegedly told by the show’s producer that taking part in It Takes Two would ‘be of benefit to you’ when ‘things return back to you, and the arts is final[ly] restored’.
Speaking to The Guardian, band member Cassandre Balosso-Bardin said that when they requested that they be paid a rate in line with the Musicians’ Union guidelines, they discovered a few days later that they had been axed.
The musician said that in her opinion, ‘the days of ‘it’ll give you exposure’ (something all musicians will be all too familiar with) are over’.
Cassandre explained that throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the band hasn’t been able to raise enough money to produce their new album, stating: ‘We created a few YouTube videos but haven’t monetised any of our work as it feels unfair to our followers, most of whom are just as hard-up as we are’.
She added that ‘making it’ isn’t just about getting exposure, but also ‘finding the voice to fight for your art, even if you have to turn the bling down’.
A statement released by a BBC spokesperson said that Amaraterra did not take part in a performance for It Takes Two due to ‘editorial reasons’.
‘As we do with lots of artists, we discussed a proposed performance with Amaraterra for It Takes Two that ultimately didn’t happen for editorial reasons,’ they said.
‘Had they performed they would of course have been paid for their appearance,’ the spokesperson added.
Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday evening at 7.25pm.
Credit: Original article published here.