Anorak | Black Face The Poles: Eastenders Is Just Too White Moans BBC

Black Face The Poles: Eastenders Is Just Too White Moans BBC

by | 24th, June 2014

PA 3920272 1 Black Face The Poles: Eastenders Is Just Too White Moans BBC

An Italian ice cream seller, Mr Allocca, and his patriotically decorated ice cream cart which displays images of King George V and Queen Mary, selling ice creams on the streets of London. Date: 03/01/1921


THIS is an extremely strange complaint from the BBC here, that Eastenders is just too white for the part of London that it’s supposedly about:

EastEnders is ‘twice as white’ as the real East End according to the head of the BBC Trust, who has called for the corporation to do more to ‘provide an authentic portrayal’ of modern Britain

Acting head of the BBC Trust Diane Coyle, said the popular BBC One soap is also too young and has too many people born in the UK to be an accurate reflection of an area such as Walthamstow, one of the boroughs on which the fictional Albert Square is based.

In her first public speech since taking over as chair of the BBC’s governing body Miss Coyle – who is in the running to replace Lord Patten as head of the trust – said the programme did not provide an accurate picture of modern day Britain.

Well of course you daft bint. The show’s been running what, 20, 30 years? And what’s the great change we’ve seen in parts of London over that period of time? Yup, that’s right, large scale non-EU immigration. And those immigrants have, like all of the previous waves of them into this green and pleasant land, started out in the near slums of the East End.

Whatever you think about the desirability or not of said immigration it’s still obviously true that it has been happening. Which leads to two further points.

The first being that a TV show that does not represent the racial mix of Walthamstow can still be representative of the nation as a whole. Indeed, if the racial mix of EastEnders is only half as diverse as it should be for the East End then it’s obviously four times too diverse for the UK as a whole. For that diversity is concentrated to a great extent into just those areas.

The second being that this is drama. You know, made up stuff? We can all go to watch Shakespeare and enjoy it without insisting that the home life of our own Dear Queen should have a few more bloody murders in it. We can watch Midsommer Murders without harping on about whether there really is an English village with a weekly murder mystery. And it’s possible to watch a soap opera set in a fictional place without pondering the precise ethnic make up of similar real world places.

‘Coz, you know, it’s all made up?

Posted: 24th, June 2014 | In: News, TV & Radio Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink