Erasing TV programmes like Little Britain, League of Gentlemen, The Mighty Boosh, Fawlty Towers, or films like Gone With The Wind and others seems very of the moment.
Let’s look at who is doing the erasing. It is not Black or Brown commissioners or programmers.
The erasure is being driven by panic struck white executives within TV media > check this out.
That this is happening now may be welcome to some. But equally, I suspect, even the creators of those shows may look back at some of what they did and cringe.
What this erasure really reveals is the stark reality that the real problem is the absence of Black, Brown and female commissioners and executives.
We wouldn’t be in quite such a mess if there were more Black, Brown and female commissioners and TV executives.
It’s not that the shows should never have been made, just that they may have been made differently, or that discussions may have been had much earlier, not decades down the line.
Don’t believe me? See this > detailing what it’s like to work in TV when you’re not white. Read every single word.
Transpose those experiences into journalism or the wider world of publishing, and creative agencies and advertising, and theatre, and tech, and medicine and healthcare, and finance, and pretty much most fields you can think of.
But there’s much more
Think about an education system where although Black students are over-represented at university compared to their share of the population, the proportion of Black employees in the top quartile of earners is the second-lowest for any ethnic group recorded by the Oiife of National Statistics (ONS).
In TV drama, film or theatre, people are quick to heap praise upon black people for playing narrowly defined roles.
Is it because these roles reflect their ‘ideally’ unequal world where minorities are not so self-assured?
Yes, it is.
Self assured minorities scare the living daylights out of the privileged.
That’s why those same groups are so quick to critique Black and Brown people for demanding more – resorting to ‘the best person for the job’. Especially when ‘the best person for the job’ is someone like them. Always like them.
Racism today is more covert and subtle than ever, and in consequence it is even more deeply engrained. And this has consequences.
Economic and social inequalities are growing in UK.
The average Black household is significantly less wealthy than white British ones, with those in the Black African ethnic group nine times less wealthy. That’s pretty devastating for many people’s life chances isn’t it?
You know what you need to do.
Erasing TV programmes like Little Britain, League of Gentlemen, The Mighty Boosh, Fawlty Towers or films like Gone With The Wind cost nobody anything, and they ultimately achieve nothing.
They are the equivalent of the vacant eyed, blandly ‘liberal’ and ‘white bread’ statement ‘all lives matter’ – all they do is erase and distract from the real actions that need be taken:
- they absolve the privileged from acknowledging and then acting on the burden they have hitherto failed to carry;
- they provide yet another sticking plaster on the leaking edifice, keeping it afloat to damage yet more lives, and maintain the privileged in the manner to which they have become all too accustomed;
- they stand in the way of real change, providing the ‘Look! We did this for you!’ beloved of those who love being seen as saviours precisely in order to control others.
Don’t lose sight of the real changes that need to be made.