Is it really that Black and White?

Lenny Henry has hit out against the British television industry, declaring it unjust that the cast of popular T.V shows is predominantly white. Vocalising his frustration that the industry is made up of just 5.4% BAME people, he says things need to change.

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As probably seen on my previous posts, I am all for equality and any kind of discrimination is completely unacceptable to me.

production excluded) I have to disagree. It’s not in a racist manner in any degree, its just that shows such as Broadchurch, based in a little English town, would not be factually accurate if the cast was 50% BAME. Little towns like these are not very diverse, it only becomes so when you come to more urban cities and towns, so it could be argued that viewing quality would be affected.

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Furthermore, I am a huge fan of the show The Vampire Diaries and often it jumps back to the past, to reflect on days gone by.

Historically, in the US and UK especially, slavery was a massive controversy and in the 1900’s black people were oppressed. Yet in many programmes they are often portrayed as working class or wealthy individuals, which was not the case for most; this has most likely been done by production companies to avoid offending their audiences.

In regards to TV shows where the casts ethnicity doesn’t affect the storyline in any way, it is right that Lenny Henry should fight for the rights of BAME people. However, sometimes a white ensemble is used because it’s true to the story and as realistic as possible. Shows sometimes need to focus on being believable rather than whether or not it may upset someone.

Wherever you go, the film and TV industry will reflect their cliché “native” citizens of the country:

Japan-the cast will be predominantly Japanese.

Mexico and Spain-the cast will be predominantly Hispanic.

India-the cast will be predominantly Indian.

This is not due to racism, it’s just down to the fact that in these countries, Japanese, Hispanic and Indian people are of the majority, as is true of England. We are a diverse society and we welcome anyone who settles in our country, but in essence, there are (factually) more white people in Britain than BAME. So it makes sense that shows like Broadchurch reflect this fact to keep an essence of realism.

People have equal opportunity in Britain and there is no discrimination against the BAME  population when comes to casting people for TV. It’s just that sometimes, appropriateness needs to be taken into account and someone may not be right for certain roles.

The boundaries are blurred most of the time because political correctness always forgets to wear it’s glasses.

Lenny Henry should definitely fight for equal chances but it needs to be realised that it’s not always possible.

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