This is good whitesplainin’ isn’t it?

David Attenborough says the BBC still needs ‘white men explaining things’ to audiences

18 thoughts on “This is good whitesplainin’ isn’t it?”

  1. What actually matters is the number of experts in any given field and their quality.

    Large engineering companies who think quotas are the way to diversity and inclusivity face a similar problem. Since engineering graduates are predominantly male, overwhelmingly so in disciplines such as mining, it is impossible to have a 50:50 split of male and female engineers in every company.

  2. If these people are not racist, sexist or anything, and believe all men are equal, why do they judge others on the grounds of race, gender and age?

    And why does Dr. Alice Roberts in her role as non-old non-man need, in order to discuss early man, to walk away from the camera across the savannah (or tundra, where applicable) in tomb raider gear, when she could do it face to camera in a studio with no need to take a film crew to Africa?

  3. JuliaM

    “Here…we see the Hackney Land Whale in it’s natural habitat. The local KFC outlet. They have a propensity for pushing their young around in buggies and making a fuss on public transport. After mating, the male disappears never to be seen again.”

  4. Rhoda:
    I think it’s because the primary appeal of many such programmes is tourism rather than the nominal subject of, say, science or history or culture. The pretty pictures help obscure the banality and thinness of much of the content. Many aren’t saying anything that hasn’t been said a million times before in documentaries which gather dust on a film library shelf.
    If you have something interesting and novel to say on a subject then stock footage, talking head interviews, a few basic graphics and an anonymous voice-over can be perfectly effective, if not, then wheel out the picturesque or quirky presenter and jet them off to parts exotic.
    The other primary function in recent times of course is to re-write the history of the subject so that an otherwise unremarkable figure in the field can be brought front and centre based purely on their “diversity” score.

  5. JS, so true. I watch a fair number of discovery channel documentaries and I’ve noticed they manage to squeeze ten minutes of information into sixty of waffle and ads. I don’t mind Dr Roberts’ backside but it has little to say about prehistoric mankind, or even personkind.

  6. Maritime Barbarian

    Rhoda – Alice Roberts went into the savannah in minimal clothing to assess how standing upright helped early man lose heat.
    Could not be done in a studio.

    Prof Cox, of course, went to a savannah purely to illustrate 2m years of history. Good scam that. Safari on BBC expenses.

  7. Mr Lud

    This is why the BBC and Mr Attenborough have no problem with the left and freedom of speech. They can say what they like and be forgiven.

    Had I said that, even now lefties would be throwing eggs at Grist Towers (Really, a small semi in suburbia) and demand I issue a grovellin apology on Twatter.

  8. @Tim Newman

    “Personally I’d like to see Diane Abbott narrate à nature program.”

    Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to see her as the subject of one? They should censor the mating rituals though…

  9. Diane Abbott is not atypical of black women. Did black men evolve long penises in order to penetrate all the blubber hanging down from the nether regions?

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