One of Britain’s most distinguished veteran broadcasters has remarked on something that maybe he shouldn’t have. Others have too, including a cousin of mine – mixed race and from Zimbabwe – and her Asian fiancée also from Zimbabwe. Neither could be accused of being “racist”, but on a recent visit here they both remarked on how the British media seemed to be promoting certain ethnic groups. And now that Sir Ludovic Kennedy has commented on it he has, unsurprisingly, been accused of “racism” — in much the same way that criticism of Israel and Zionism is automatically labelled ‘anti-Semitic’. But Sir Ludovic is clearly not racist, he is simply remarking on a fact that is all too obvious to some. A noticeable imbalance in the broadcast media that is essentially being used a means of social conditioning. The fact that his comments have drawn such fire is confirmation of this and measure of its effect. Ed.
Terry Kirby – The Daily Telegraph September 26, 2003
SIR Ludovic Kennedy, the former broadcaster, author and veteran campaigner for liberal causes, caused astonishment yesterday by saying there were too many black people appearing in television programmes.
Writing in The Oldie magazine, Sir Ludovic, 83, said there was “rather more than its fair share’ of black participation in television soaps, vox pops and advertising. He said political correctness had got “completely out of hand” and that the imbalance needed to be readjusted.
The comments shocked both broadcasters and broadcasting organisations. The BBC said it was “proud’ to be committed to diversity and fairness, while Channel 4 said the comments were “ludicrous.’ The Commission for Racial Equality said he had misunderstood the realities of multiracial Britain. (See The Commission for Racial Equality, a report by a former Commission member that revealed that the Commission itself was fraught with racial antagonism between black and asian members, linked below.)
Sir Ludovic, who lives in Wiltshire, could not be contacted yesterday to clarify his comments, made in a review of The Fun Factory, A Life in the BBC, by Will Wyatt, the former managing director of BBC television.
He concluded his review writing:
“I’d like to take issue with Will when he says it was his aim to bring more blacks to the screen, in which it seems he has more than succeeded. I am all in favour of black advancement, but there’s now hardly a TV, pub, police station, soap, vox pop or ad without rather more than its fair share of black participation.”
“The Statistical Office tells me the proportion of all ethnic groups (blacks, Indians, Pakistanis, Asians) to whites in this country is no more than 7.5 per cent. Political correctness has got completely out of hand and requires that the imbalance be readjusted.’
A spokeswoman for the BBC, which recently began a new black sitcom, The Crouches, said: “The BBC has a duty to serve all of its audiences and although ethnic minorities make up 9 per cent of the UK population (4.6 million people, according to the 2001 census), some of our programmes – EastEnders, Holby City and Casualty for example – do have more than this representation. But this is because these dramas are set in urban areas where people from ethnic minority backgrounds make up as much as 30 per cent of the population so it would seem unrealistic to the audiences watching these dramas without this variety of characters.”
Alan Yentob, the BBC’s director of drama, entertainment and children’s television, added: “I think Ludo is a great guy; but I don’t agree with him on this at all. It’s a very silly thing to say and – I don’t want this to sound patronising at all – I think he needs to get out more.”
Channel 4 said: “We do not think these comments justify a response. They are clearly ludicrous.”
About 11 per cent of the channel’s staff are from ethnic minorities, a figure it is anxious to increase. It requires commissioning editors to ensure about 10 per cent of all faces on screen are from ethnic minorities and a similar level is achieved in its workforce. Articles end.
Note that the final paragraph all but confirms Sir Ludovic’s contention. Yet Channel 4 simply reacted without comment, as if what he said was too “ludicrous” to consider. While BBC director Alan Yentob, dimissed him with thinly veiled condescension (but then Yentob is also rumoured to be a closet Zionist). This is the true voice of the mainstream British media, promoting lies as truth and disparity as equality.
This is also an example of social engineering at work, and of necessity it has to be covert, because once acknowledged, people would resist it. Hence Channel 4’s lack of comment and Alan Yentob’s low key dismissal: quite simply they don’t want to draw any more attention to it than they have to.
However Sir Ludovic received support from an unexpected quarter. The Times quoted Raj Chandran, a former member of the Commission of Racial Equality, as saying: “He may be right. The profile of Asian and blacks is enough to make us wonder if we are living in England.
“It gives an impression that we are overpowering ourselves with black and ethnic minority people.”
See: The Commission for Racial Equality