Saturday 9 February 2019

The BBC criticises Sir Lenny Henry

Breaking news....

The BBC's Executive Complaints Unit has partially upheld a complaint against Sir Lenny Henry, ruling that Sir Lenny was "inaccurate" twice during his personal documentary for BBC One:

Lenny Henry: The Commonwealth Kid, BBC One, 2 April 2018 

The programme contained a number of references to Jamaica and its citizens, and their historic relationships with the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. A viewer complained that these gave an inaccurate and misleading impression of why the author’s parents had been able to emigrate to Britain, and of Jamaica’s status at the time.  The complainant also objected to the use of the phrase “Commonwealth Kid” as being based on the same false premise. 
The programme was a personal account reflecting the author’s own perception of his background and identity while growing up.  As such it was reasonable for him to describe himself as a Commonwealth kid.  It was inaccurate however to claim that membership of the Commonwealth had enabled his parents to come to Britain, as that was not a relevant factor. It was also inaccurate to suggest or imply at various points that Jamaica was part of the Commonwealth in the 1950s, when in fact Jamaica only joined the organisation in 1962.
Partly upheld 

Further action
The programme will be amended before any future repeats.

Of course, it's not often that the BBC upholds a complaint. The latest fortnightly report on Complaints to the BBC records 19 ECU rulings - all of them 'Not upheld'!

Incidentally, the two most complained-about programmes were Question Time on 17/01/2019 for being "biased against Diane Abbot" (whose name the BBC complaints report spells incorrectly!) - "470 (after invitations to complain were posted on social media)" - and Today on 26/01/2019 (161 complaints) over John Humphrys's interview with Ireland’s Minister for European Affairs, Helen McEntee, for "being biased in favour of Brexit".

1 comment:

  1. How odd of the BBC to attack Lenny Henry, the very person who a couple of years ago attacked the BBC and others for not having enough visible Black tv presenters on our tv screens.

    And of course in 2017 almost every conceivable show threw in a Black presenter as part of it's presenting team, be it Gardeners World, Countryfile, tv makeover shows and Springwatch as well as every tv Panel show.
    The sudden change was very noticable that year. It wasn't subtle. It was very sudden, a moment of panic by the BBC.

    Yet for some reason Asian Orientals are not well represented on tv. Every time I see one tv they're always playing the part of a Chinese waiter in a tv advert and again as a Chinese waiter in a tv drama as an an extra. How demeaning.

    But it's very odd that the BBC would attack Lenny Henry who single handedly instigated the great racial balance on the BBC.

    John..... N.London


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