My Celebrity Life

Working class people ‘often depicted negatively and ridiculed’ on TV, BBC report finds

People from working class backgrounds are frequently depicted in a negative and stereotyped light on TV, a BBC report has found.

The BBC’s recent research explored creative diversity both on TV and behind the scenes.

The investigation looked at the depiction of people from working class backgrounds not just in programmes released by the BBC, but by other channels as well.

In the report, the broadcaster stated that ‘often those from lower socio-economic backgrounds are depicted negatively, fuelled by stereotypes and seen as the object of ridicule’.

‘We need to ensure our reflection is balanced,’ it added.

While the research did not solely focus on BBC shows, the firm stated that it must ‘move away from some stereotyping in characters and inform more nuanced on-screen portrayal in storytelling’.

My Celebrity Life –
The BBC report cites Connell in Normal People as a good example of a fully-fledged character (Picture: BBC/Element Pictures/Hulu)

The report included several examples of recently-released shows that featured fully-fledged characters, including Connell from Normal People, Terry from I May Destroy You and Eve from Killing Eve.

Nonetheless, more than a quarter of people questioned for the report said that they believe there wasn’t enough coverage of diverse socio-economic backgrounds on TV.

In light of the report’s findings, the BBC said it would hold ‘intimate in-depth sessions, to help build empathy and inform’ decisions regarding TV series, meeting with audiences on a regular basis to ensure programmes are more representative.

The report added that ‘failure to seize this moment risks us losing the loyalty of future generations’.

June Sarpong, director of creative diversity at the BBC, said: ‘How we respond to the challenge of creating a more inclusive organisation will determine whether the BBC can deliver value for all audiences into our future.’

June added that ‘this feels particularly pertinent as we approach the BBC’s centenary in 2022’.

Tim Davie, director-general of the company, added: ‘Across the BBC, our focus has been on making sure that everyone – across the UK, from all backgrounds and communities – can feel that the BBC is for them.

‘It’s about being relevant to every part of society, and delivering value to every household. We have a responsibility to reflect and serve all audiences.’


Credit: Original article published here.

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