SENIOR BBC BLACK EXECUTIVE PAT YOUNGE TALKS LACK OF DIVERSITY ON BRITISH TELEVISION / DOTUN ADEBAYO NOT IMPRESSED
In July Pat Younge resigned from his post as chief creative officer of BBC Productions and will say goodbye to the corporation at the end of this year. But before leaving Pat has decided to speak out about the lack of diversity on British television.
In a recent interview with Radio 5 Live breakfast he said:
“I have lived in both [the US and the UK]. I would rather personally live in Britain as a culture, as a society, in terms of how different races live together and rub along side by side.
“In terms of the economics of being a black TV executive, I would have a much better career and a much more lucrative career in the States because the economics of the industry drive it that way.
“First of all, the US has a bigger drama industry than we do here and secondly, African-Americans make up one in eight of the population, there is an economic driver for the production companies and networks to include black actors.
“It’s inconceivable in the States that you would have a significant drama that does not have a black person in a lead or second lead role.”
“The challenge we face in UK TV is can we get more black writers through the system who can create these rounded parts, that will give these actors the work they are looking for.
“One of the things black people will say is, ‘my colour is a big part of some of the stories I want to tell.’ You need writers who understand these stories who can bring them to screen.”
In response to Pat’s criticisms broadcaster Dotun Adebayo goes straight for the juggler and questions why he is only speaking out now.
Why is he now airing these grievances when he’s leaving? Should he not have stood up and made known his feelings when he was still a rising star at the BBC, when he could have made a stronger impact and been able to change things from within? Or was he too afraid of losing his job at the time?
Look, it is for each and every individual to decide whether to opt for a quiet life and take their pay packet and say nothing, or whether they are going to stand firm and take on the establishment from within. But, honestly, I am getting sick and tired of all these so-called black execs and top notches working for years within the system and then suddenly calling foul when they are leaving their jobs or getting sacked. That is no good for us.
I have known Pat Younge for nearly 30 years. He and I were both student leaders at university. I was president of my student union and he was finance officer for the National Union of Students. What I can tell you is that he is no fool. In fact, he is one of the shrewdest operators I have come across. He didn’t get to the top at the BBC without being shrewd.
To my surprise Pat did not take Dotun’s biting commentary lying down and posted the following reply in the comments section:
Don’t usually comment on stuff like this but my reputation is all I have and I will protect it from total crap and piss poor journalism. For example, there was never anything in the daily mail, it was in the Guardian, and that was their version of something I said on Radio5 Live breakfast. How am I meant to control that? Why did I talk to 5Live and not the Voice? Because 5Live asked my opinion and the Voice didn’t.
As for speaking up on race when at the BBC, don’t take my word for it – ask the BBC Black and Asian Forum, ask my mentees, ask Creative Access, ask Mama Youth project, ask Trish Adudo, Gillian Joseph, brenda Emmanus, Maxine Watson, Eddie Botsio, ask the BBC Apprentices… Ask the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust about the role I played in launching their charity, ask exRoyal Television Society boss, Simon Albury, ask who was there at the founding of the Cultural a Diversity Network, ask the heads of Comedy, Ents, Drama and Factual, ask Derren Lawford, ask Rianna Scipio or Moira Stuart…… Now I know there’s still more to do, but the notion that I’ve been silent on the issue in some kind of self serving way couldn’t be further from the truth.
Dotun and me do go back a long way. We met on an NUS training course when he was an exec at Essex and I was on the National Executive. From memory he did day one, met a girl and failed to complete the course……that was Dotun. We worked together at the Voice, he was a true pioneer with Steve Pope and XPress publishing, he’s become an accomplished radio broadcaster. I’ve long considered him a friend, and still do, but before we go tearing each other down lets be sure there’s a real case to answer. I’d be more than happy to talk to the Voice about anything….all they needed to do was ask.
Dotun then shot back with:
You and the supporters you have rounded up for these comments are living in a parallel universe.
No one is questioning that a handful of people and organisations can tip a nod to you, you were after all the exec in charge of black programmes at the BBC. You couldn’t deliver that remit without the help of the likes of Gillian Joseph, so bully for you.
But in all the years you have been at the BBC when have you ever stood up and said that the BBC was racist (or at the very least institutionally racist) which is the only conclusion one can reach by your comments that you would have achieved much more in your career if you were living in the States.
You have kept uncharacteristically schtum about that since you got your job as the BBC’s No.1 black man. Until now when you cease to hold that title. I and a million other black people in this country are sick and tired of people like yourself who were in positions of power and cry foul when they are leaving those positions. That is what my article is about. Why did you not cry foul before.
But we can carry on exchanging glancing blows like this ad infinitum and you know already that I can wipe the floor with your postulations. Much better to debate this in front of the people. I challenge you.
Over to you Pat!
Pat Younge was never going to ‘rock the boat’ for himself while he was riding high at the BBC. It is always easier and safer to speak out after you have moved on. This nonsense happens all the time in the world of sport. Black British footballers pull this exact same stunt, e.g. when John Barnes was running around playing for England he never once publicly addressed the racism that went on behind the scenes, he was happy to play deaf, dumb and blind. But as soon as John retired that was when he decided to speak out.
The same can also be said for Sol ‘expressionless’ Campbell. I don’t EVER remember hearing a word come out of that man’s mouth during his playing days. However since hanging up his boots Sol (turned Dr Martin Luther King Jr) cannot stop talking about racism and the injustice of it all.
In the world of television comedian/actor Lenny Henry springs to mind. When Lenny was cock of the walk at the BBC back in the 1980s and in a position to help implement change he never really spoke out about the lack of diversity in television . But almost three decades later (and no longer cock of the walk at Auntie Beeb) Lenny is now chairing committees, speaking out at conferences and calling for racial quotas to increase racial diversity on British screens.
Isn’t it a bit late in the day for all this talk Pat and Lenny?
I understand that while both men were at the height of their powers they probably feared losing everything if they dared to speak out, but in reality that would have been the best time to have started the ball rolling.
Pat seems to believe that life would have been easier had he been living in America. Maybe, but let us not forget African-Americans have been fighting a lot longer than us (read up on African-American history and the struggle Pat) and have worked hard to get laws passed that ensure corporations provide opportunities for them in the work force. None of this has happened over night and they will always be the first to tell the rest of the world that ‘listen we still have a long way to go’.
Your thoughts please….
Doesn’t this chick have a radio show to present?
BBC Radio 1 presenter and former T4 host Jameela Jamil has posted a blog in defence of her mate Lily Allen, who earlier last week released the controversial video to her new single Hard Out Here (Click here to read all about it).
Presenter now turned racism analyst/expert Jameela had this to say in her blog post titled ‘Another Bloody Blog About ‘Hard Out Here’.
Every morning this week I’ve fallen out of my bed, grabbed my phone, and waded through my twitter feed expecting to read about the Typhoon which has devastated so many tens and thousands of people. It made sense to me that it would dominate all other topics of conversation.
I was wrong. Instead I have spent the entire week hearing of Lily Allen’s new controversial video. Hard Out Here. Everyone’s having their say. It’s (bafflingly) splitting the nation. Few people aren’t weighing in.
I personally thought the song and video were well executed delivering a straight forward message. A good point well made. I saw little scope for such mass debate, so I was curious… and I decided to read.
The moment I almost threw my laptop out of the window was when I knew it was time to say something.
Let us start with the Racism debate. I have read Newspaper articles, at least 40 blogs and countless tweets in defence of the “poor, nameless, voiceless black girls gyrating in the video.” SORRY?
Well having watched the video several times… I can count 4 black girls and three white girls, not to mention Lily, who is fully involved in all of the licking, flicking and twerking. Not to mention the only one to perform Bananalingus.
Exhibit A) Non black dancer being photographed in her underwear.
Exhibit B) Non black dancer being spanked on all fours. Nobody appears to be concerned for her.
Exhibit C) Non black dancer with black dancer sharing what I assume is supposed to be “Tips”
So, I repeat… SORRY???
It is almost racist to discount the girls who aren’t black.
Jameela also tweeted:
And it's not racist. There are girls of varied race in the damn video. Get a grip people.—
Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) November 15, 2013
Overwhelmed by the lovely response to the Lily Allen blog this morning. Ta very much. Spread the word and give the woman a break.—
Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) November 16, 2013
Jameela who along with her many supporters believe they are in a position to tell others what we should/should not deem as racist or offensive, attempts to make the point that Caucasian dancers are also featured in the video. But if you watch the video those dancers (and Lily) are modestly dressed in comparison (see above) and are rarely seen, yet the black dancers (modern day Sarah Baartmans – watch her tragic story here) receive the most screen time and have been instructed to “twerk” for dear life (people tend to forget that in the society we live in women of African descent and Caucasian women are generally not treated the same). The decision to show them in this light was a deliberate one. Lily and the director had the agenda set long before those foolish and naive dancers agreed to take part in this level of buffoonery.
And for the record, I don’t actually buy mockney Lily’s reasoning for making this video. The reality is she was no longer ‘relevant’ so decided to rip a page out of Miley Cyrus’ book.
Anyway back to her mate Jameela. Everyone is entitled to their opinion including BBC Radio’s resident clothes horse. But really Jameela “I wrote this in your honour”, could you sound any more licky licky? But don’t worry, job well done. I’ am sure you and the dancers featured in Lily’s dubious music video will all receive Christmas party invitations this year for your ‘services’.
In response to Jameela’s blog post ‘quote of the day’ has to go to Mad News reader Wow.
She sounds stupid for writing the 41st blog in response/defence of Lily Allen video instead of writing a blog on the typhoon which has killed tens of thousands of people who are still in need. Maybe next time she should follow her own advice. And she is as blind as a bat.
I'm not arguing any more. All my points are on the blog. If u tell me I can't comment on racism because I am not of that race, YOU'RE RACIST—
Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) November 16, 2013
Hahahahahahahahahaha. Oh Jameela you are funny.
ITV NEWS PRESENTER CHARLENE WHITE DEFENDS HER DECISION TO NOT WEAR POPPY ON AIR / ADDRESSES RACIST ABUSE
ITV News presenter Charlene White has been subjected to a torrent of racist abuse via social media over her decision to not wear a poppy on-air.
In the statement below Charlene ( a supporter of the Poppy Appeal) explains why she has made the decision to not wear the poppy and addresses the ridiculous and uncalled for racial abuse she received.
In the last few days I’ve been subjected to a torrent of racist and sexist abuse as a result of me choosing not to wear a poppy on-screen, while presenting for ITV News.
It was a decision I made a number of years ago, but the backlash this year has been far bigger and more widespread than it has been in previous years…so I thought it best to write a longer explanation rather than in a series of tweets on Twitter. Or a short post on Facebook.
I support and am patron of a number of charities and I am uncomfortable with giving one of those charities more on-screen time than others.
I prefer to be neutral and impartial on-screen so that one of those charities doesn’t feel less favoured than another.
Off-screen in my private life – it’s different.
I wear a red ribbon at the start of December for World Aids Day, a pink ribbon in October during breast cancer awareness month, a badge in April during Bowel Cancer Awareness month, and yes – a poppy on Armistice Day.
I respect and hold in high esteem those in the armed forces, both my father and my uncle have served in the RAF and the Army.
Every year I donate to the Poppy Appeal because above all else it is a charity that needs donations, so that it can continue to help support serving and ex-service men and women and their families.
The messages of “go back to where you came from” have been interesting to read, as have the “fat s–g” comments, and the repeated use of the phrase “black c–t”.
Mostly because it flies in the face of everything that millions of British men and women and those in the Commonwealth have fought for for generations, and continue to fight for: the right to choose, and the right of freedom of speech and expression.
REALLY GREGOR??? This ignorant loser needs a history lesson.
These vile social media racists kill me. They prey on individuals who they deem weak/vulnerable (the cowards usually target women), spout racial abuse and then when confronted by others like myself they quickly change their tune, deny that what they tweeted is racist/offensive, try to play smart but lose, and then quickly delete their offending tweet/s.
When there's only one brain cell between so many in the far right, why should I expect them to see the irony of Nazi salutes? Silly me.—
Lorna Cooper (@Coops_tv) November 13, 2013
People just need to rip these modern day Enoch Powell’s a new one and then send them packing.
The last time I checked wearing a poppy was a CHOICE NOT A REQUIREMENT. Continue to stand your ground Charlene.
‘BARNEYS NEW YORK’ ACCUSED OF RACIAL PROFILING, JAY Z ISSUES STATEMENT AND DEFENDS HIS PARTNERSHIP WITH THE STORE
The WAKE UP calls just keep on coming folks!
Last week it was reported that 19 year old African-American student Trayon Christian is suing department store Barneys for “allegedly” calling the police on him after he purchased a $350 designer belt in April. While leaving the store undercover detectives “allegedly” stopped him and asked, “how a young black man such as himself could afford to purchase such an expensive belt,”. The student was then handcuffed and held for 2 hours before being released without charge.
Another black customer Kayla Phillips went through a similar experience back in February after leaving the store with a $2,500 Céline handbag that she had just purchased. Phillips told the New York Post,
“As I was walking into the train station, four undercover police officers attacked me,”
“They asked me why I used a debit card and why it didn’t have my name on it,” she said of her temporary Bank of America card.
A frightened Phillips called her mom, who told The Post cops had asked, “What are you doing here in Manhattan? Where’d you get the money to buy that expensive bag?”
Her mother, Wendy Straker, said the police were clearly on the phone with a Barneys rep who was feeding them information about her daughter’s transaction.
When she showed police her ID and her new debit card, which had arrived in the mail that morning, they let her go.
Shawn Carter aka Jay Z has now been dragged in to this racism storm because the rapper/mogul is all set to release a limited holiday collection with Barneys. The store will sell items by top designers, inspired by Jay-Z , with some of the proceeds going to his charity. He is also working with the store to create its artistic holiday window display. 25% of the proceeds of sales will apparently go towards his Shawn Carter Foundation.
Fans, activists and online petitioners are now calling for the ‘Jigga Man’ to pull out of the deal with Barneys but those calls were met with silence. That is, until The New York Daily News went straight for the juggler with their brilliant front cover above.
In response to the newspaper’s front cover a rattled Carter via his publicist issued the following statement:
This collaboration lives in a place of giving and is about the Foundation. I am not making a dime from this collection; I do not stand to make millions, as falsely reported. I need to make that fact crystal clear. The Shawn Carter Foundation is the beneficiary and the foundation is receiving 25% of all sales from the collaboration, 10% of all sales generated in the store on November 20th and, an additional donation from Barneys. This money is going to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships to help further their education at institutions of higher learning. My idea was born out of creativity and charity… not profit.
I move and speak based on facts and not emotion. I haven’t made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately? The negligent, erroneous reports and attacks on my character, intentions, and the spirit of this collaboration have forced me into a statement I didn’t want to make without the full facts. Making a decision prematurely to pull out of this project, wouldn’t hurt Barneys or Shawn Carter, but all the people that stand a chance at higher education. I have been working with my team ever since the situation was brought to my attention to get to the bottom of these incidents and at the same time find a solution that doesn’t harm all those that stand to benefit from this collaboration.
I am against discrimination of any kind, but if I make snap judgements, no matter who it’s towards, aren’t I committing the same sin as someone who profiles? I am no stranger to being profiled and I truly empathize with anyone that has been put in that position. Hopefully this brings forth a dialogue to effect real change. – Shawn “JAY Z” Carter.
So before Carter makes a decision he is going to wait for the Rev Al Sharpton and other community leaders to get back to him with “FACTS” after their round table meeting with Barneys, when deep down he already knows that his business partners are guilty of racial profiling along with their cronies the NYPD (New York Police Department). He also knows that if he was not Mr Shawn ‘Jay Z’ Carter-Knowles, Barneys and the NYPD would force him to go through the same humiliating ritual.
Shawn Carter is a multimillionaire and so is his wife. The man is in a position financially where he can keep his foundation afloat with his OWN earnings. He does not need Barneys partnership or external donations to help him do this.
It is all just a load of rubbish. These so-called celebrity “charity foundations” are never quite what they seem.
But if Carter wants to continue working with Barneys then I say leave the fool to it. Forget about him black people, hit them in the pockets by taking your custom elsewhere and NEVER step foot inside Barneys again. It is as simple as that.
Here we go again….
Via The Daily Mirror
Andros Townsend has defended Roy Hodgson after the England boss was caught up in a row over a ‘monkey’ joke he told his players in the dressing room during Tuesday night’s win over Poland.
Hodgson recounted an old NASA space monkey joke at half-time – words that are thought to have caused offence to one England player, who believed it carried racial connotations.
But the Tottenham star says that “no offence was meant and none was taken” over Hodgson’s words, which were used to encourage Chris Smalling to get more of the ball to England’s winger in the second-half.
“I don’t know what all this fuss is about. No offence was meant and none was taken! It’s not even news worthy!” he tweeted.
Wayne Rooney also leapt to the defence of the England manager, tweeting: “Seen the story on roy this morning. He done nothing wrong. This is ridiculous.”
The England boss is believed to have recounted the joke in full, which reads:
“NASA decided they’d finally send a man up in a capsule after sending only monkeys in the earlier missions,” the joke goes.
“They fire the man and the monkey into space.
“The intercom crackles, ‘Monkey, fire the retros.’
“A little later, ‘Monkey, check the solid fuel supply.’
“Later still, “Monkey, check the life support systems for the man.’
“The astronaut takes umbrage and radioes NASA, ‘When do I get to do something?’
“NASA replies, ‘In 15 minutes – feed the monkey.’”
Hilarious joke Roy.. *rolls eyes*
Anyway the England manager has since apologised and said in a statement,
“There was absolutely no intention on my part to say anything inappropriate. I made this clear straight away to Andros in the dressing room.
“I also spoke to Andros again on Wednesday. He has assured me and The FA he did not take any offence, and understood the point I was making in the manner I intended.
But anti racism organisation ‘Kick It Out’ are not entirely convinced and has called for an investigation in to Hodgson’s ‘joke’.
In a statement the group said,
“Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion campaign, recognises and shares the concerns of the parties who felt mindful to bring the comments into the public domain.
“The matter has been raised by the Chair, Lord Herman Ouseley, directly with The Football Association (FA), who acknowledges the apology made by Roy Hodgson, and now seeks an investigation to ascertain the full facts and ensure a similar situation does not arise again.”
I am curious, I wonder who reported Hodgson to the FA (Football Association) because in general when it comes to speaking out against racism etc, black/ mixed race footballers are a lost a cause, who behave like their tongue’s have been cut out and I am past caring about their plight.
I don’t think a black/mixed race player leaked this incident because even if Hodgson’s did say something blatantly racist in the dressing room none of those cowards would have the balls to report him. No, I suspect someone within the back room staff (most likely Caucasian) is responsible for this leak.
As for Andros Townsend……. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
All I can do right now is just laugh at him.
Your thoughts please. Is Hodgson guilty of racism or just guilty of telling a bad joke?
After billionaire mogul Oprah Winfrey revealed news of her encounter with a racist store assistant while out shopping in Zurich, Switzerland (click here to read all about the incident) the Swiss tourist board has now issued an apology to the star.
Spokeswoman Daniela Baer said:
“We are very sorry for what happened to her, of course, because we think all of our guests and clients should be treated respectfully, in a professional way.”
The tourism office also posted an apology on Twitter, saying “this person acted terribly wrong.”
However ‘Trois Pommes’ owner Trudie Gotz told the BBC, that Winfrey was “absolutely allowed” to examine the bag, which was kept behind a screen and insists the incident was a “misunderstanding”.
“My salesperson wanted to give her the handbag in her hand. But she didn’t want to take the bag.” .
“I have to admit that the employee is Italian,” she said. “Of course, she speaks English, but not as well as her mother tongue. It was a real misunderstanding.”
Hahahaha the Swiss tourist board is BRICKING IT.
Ms Gotz better hire herself a publicist.
Oprah Winfrey has revealed that she experienced racism while out shopping alone in Switzerland .
The billionaire mogul said:
“I was in Zurich the other day, in a store whose name I will not mention. I didn’t have my eyelashes on, but I was in full Oprah Winfrey gear. I had my little Donna Karan skirt and my little sandals. But obviously The Oprah Winfrey Show is not shown in Zurich.
“I go into a store and I say to the woman, ‘Excuse me, may I see the bag right above your head?’ and she says to me, ‘No. It’s too expensive.’”
When Oprah insisted on seeing the bag (THREE TIMES) the store assistant replied, “No, no you don’t want to see that one, you want to see this one because that one will cost too much. You will not be able to afford that,” and then proceeded to show the star smaller and cheaper bags.
Instead of throwing down her black card Oprah walked out the store calmly and later said: “I could’ve had the whole blow-up thing and thrown down the black card but why do that but that clearly is you know … it (racism) still exists, of course it does.”
Racism in Switzerland… I am shocked and appalled. Who knew???
Oprah should have named and shamed the store but not to worry because Blick newspaper has done the honours.
The boutique is called ‘Trois Pommes’ and it’s owner Trudie Goetz, has apologised for the incident. She claims there had been a “misunderstanding” caused by the assistant’s failure to recognise Winfrey. “We don’t have any facial recognition here,” Blick quoted Ms Goetz as saying.
Hahahaha – Oh please Ms Goetz just STOP! That is a load of crap and you know it. I don’t for one second believe that you believe this was about your assistant’s failure to recognise Oprah. This was racism. Your assistant refused to show Oprah the bag because in her tiny mind no black person could EVER afford such an expensive item and has no business even walking in to your store.
Your thoughts please….
This interview was filmed late last year but has only just been brought to my attention.
Now name me one other well known male black artist in this country who would be brave enough to stand up and say all this publicly?
Hold on I’ll wait….
Your thoughts please….
Last month rapper Akala appeared on the talk show BBC Free Speech and responded to EDL (English Defense League) leader Tommy “I am not racist… I had muslims at my wedding” Robinson’s views on Islam, muslims and racism in Britain.
When Akala schools Tommy on British soldier Christopher Alder who died in police custody in 1998, the look on that clown’s face afterwards. Hahaha. OWNED!
CLICK HERE to read about the death of Christopher Alder. Rest In Peace.
Your thoughts please….
Well it all kicked off yesterday after footage of ‘popular’ rapper English Frank (now “affectionately” known in some quarters as EDL Frank) caught the attention of the masses.
CLICK HERE to read all about the drama and view footage of outburst.
As expected some of us went straight for the jugular after watching a cocky and overly confident Frank belittle an African security guard during an event in Brixton (that Frank organised/hosted), while others made excuses for his behaviour, blamed others within the black community for Frank’s outburst, attempted to play down the incident , worked hard to take the heat off Frank’s blazing back like good obedient soldiers or simply remained uncharacteristically silent.
This dire situation has now forced Frank to post a public apology on YouTube.
In reply to Frank conveniently mentioning that his son is of mixed race origin a YouTube commentator said:
ColdkeyzMusic 1 hour ago
Having a mixed race child doesn’t prove ur not racist, Even slave owners had mixed race kids back in the day.
Now that’s deep…..
Anyway today’s “it’s not racism it’s just banter” generation will lap this apology up. But those of us who came up in the 1980s, 1990s, and the generation before us know better.
Back in the day if an incident like this occurred there would have been no discussion, no reasoning, Frank would have been bottled off the stage and left to crawl away from his own event on his knees. Actually scrap that, back in the day he would have known better than to say such a thing at an event especially in Brixton.
It will be both interesting and comical to see who from within the UK Hip Hop/Rap community will continue to work and share the stage with Frank at the next Hip Hop Isn’t Dead event .
Your thoughts please…