Mr Olusoga’s outrageous demand

He really is demanding this:

The deeper question, however, is whether the UK television industry is capable of producing programmes that reflect Britishness in all its diversity – socioeconomic, regional, gender, sexual, generational and ethnic. The reasons to worry in this regard is because behind the scenes and behind the camera, television has long struggled to build a workforce that resembles the nation it seeks to reflect.

That’s not an outrageous demand, but this is:

What is most depressing about this report is how familiar it all is. Previous reports from previous decades say much the same thing. This, in part, I suspect is because the industry has failed to fully accept that the status quo is abnormal. All-white production teams based in London, a city with a workforce that is 36% minority ethnic, only seem acceptable because culturally we have normalised what is abnormal.

TV should reflect the nation. But actually, TV is made in London so it should reflect London.

So, let’s run this around the other way. Teesside is the most white – or most non-BAME perhaps – area of the country at something like 98.7%/1.3% (from memory). So a show like Vera should have near no non-pasty faced hard folk in t-shirts ganning doon the toon.

Is that what the show has? Nope. And now let us consider Olusoga’s likely reaction to our insisting that it should.


29 thoughts on “Mr Olusoga’s outrageous demand”

  1. As an alien descending on this planet and observing society through its media, it’s clear that women reproduce through parthanogenesis, 80% are gay, and those women in relationships with men are all in mixed race couplings, though clearly they haven’t bred with them as the offspring only show inheritance from one of the couple.

  2. because culturally we have normalised what is abnormal

    Well that’s perfectly correct. This is what gave us Stonewall, Critical Race theory and Mr Olusoga himself, more’s the pity.

  3. TV (piss be upon it) was invented by able-bodied heterosexual English-speaking white men hoping to make money from the exploitative capitalist paradigm.

    Instead of culturally appropriating the medium of the oppressor, David Oogawooga should use traditional African methods of communication, such as bongo drums and breakdancing on a piece of cardboard.

  4. Yeah london 36% B a or whatever live there but their not it’s entire workforce- David’s excluding the dayworkers bussed and trained in from the home counties.

  5. Blah blah blah. All of this shite amounts to nothing more than “give us all your stuff”. The only difference between him and some stabby mugger is the technique and ambition.

  6. If Mr Olusoga wishes to see more people like him on TV, perhaps he should return to his native Africa, where he won’t be forced to look at White people all day long.
    Of course he wouldn’t be able to carry on his grift back there.

  7. I noticed the other day that in my general area of interest, BBC Sport were covering a game from the (awful) Indian Premier League, and the commentary team consisted of four men of sub-continental background, and no-one else. That, in BBCspeak, is diversity.

  8. I recall as a kid – long, long before I was aware that such thoughts might be controversial – wondering why there were so many black people on TV when you hardly ever saw any in real life. And why were there no Indians? There were loads of them about. The answer, I quickly came to realise, was London.

    London, Mr Olusoga, is not Britain.

  9. “So a show like Vera should have near no non-pasty faced hard folk in t-shirts ganning doon the toon.”

    I note that the ad for the remake of ‘Darling Buds of May’ features people you wouldn’t really have expected to see in rural 1950s Kent…

  10. I’ve never seen “Vera” but “ganning doon the toon” sounds more Geordie that Teesside to me; also the last data I saw on Easington was that it was over 99% white

  11. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    “Of course he wouldn’t be able to carry on his grift back there.”

    Surely he would find it even easier to practise grift in most parts of Africa?

    Oh, wait…

  12. There’s a black farmer in 30s N Yorks as portrayed in the current (otherwise excellent, as easy viewing) remake of “All Creatures Great and Small”. I wonder how many black farmers there are today in the UK, never mind in 1937. As Jezza observed when “Clarkson’s Farm” went to an auction of farm equipment: “This is real diverse TV, there’s every possible shade of 60 year old white men here”.

  13. I feel there’s comedy/soapie gold in something centering around a pakistani running a chippie, with a nagging mother/mother-in-law, a wife pushing him to become More while planning/contriving the prospective marriage partners of their teenage offspring who in turn want *nothing* to do with that oldfashioned shit.
    Add in a brother running a typical street supermarket Dreaming (too) Big, a cousin from “the old country” who can’t quite catch up, with a wife who caught up on this “freedom” thing, and an “excentric” uncle who insists on doing travo acts on birthdays/happy occasions.
    All the whipipo featured may even be any shade of drunk/stupid/boorish to be deftly sent on their way by our protagonist smalltime, long-suffering hero.

    Nothing original, but with the right touch could be a massive hit, as it’s something people recognise.
    And wouldn’t be greenlighted ever, because.. [long, looooong list]

  14. a pakistani running a chippie

    I have genuinely never come across a Pakistani running a chippy in the UK. Where I grew up the chippies were either indigenous or Hongkong Chinese-owned. Pakistanis running the dodgier curry houses (best run by Bangladeshis) and corner shops. Even in London I don’t remember one.

  15. A lot of subcontinent types won’t touch chippies due to the animal fat in the fryer. Hindus don’t like beef and Muslims won’t do pork.

    Frying in pure vegetable oil isn’t hot enough.

    I learned this from a Jewish guy. He had the same problem.

  16. I have encountered several.. Merseyside comes to mind.

    And part of the gag would be he *tries* to do something “out-of-the-box”, and runs into the usual stereotyping, including the mother-in-law loudly complaining to her daughter why her husband couldn’t just have started a curry place as is Right-And-Proper nag-nag-nag, and more of that stuff.

  17. Really Chester?

    Hmmmm… That old factory nextdoor that was once half the start of Unilever and makes entirely vegetable products for frying must have been wrong all the time then. Including the bit where they make specialised stuff for restaurants that can run close to 250 centigrade without cracking..

    Then again… Jewish guys know even less about cooking than the average english housewife, so I’m not surprised.

  18. Chester, fat is an “oop north” thing ( or was, I haven’t had f&c in Lancs Yorks or Jockland in years). Peanut oil is used by my local chippy. I haven’t worked out their ethnicity, because they speak English with Londony accents behind the fryer and I am too polite to ask.

  19. There was a bit in Buddha of Suburbia where when asked to improvise a scene the Indian guy rips off a real event from his family with older person threatening to die if someone didn’t marry who they were supposed to etc.
    At the end the main criticism from the white director etc is that it wasn’t a realistic scenario and a bit stereotypical.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if the author based that on experience

  20. The thing with behind-the-scenes on stage and screens is that it’s a pretty ruthless meritocracy. Even if you can get in the door via some connection, if you don’t measure up you simply won’t get hired again. Add to that the turnover of people who are willing to work with little security for next to nowt, it makes for a harsh, if romantic, environment with good returns only for the excellent, motivated few.

    It’s quite possible there just isn’t a massive queue of effnics trying to get a break in that. Indeed, if you look at YouTube channels relating to movie and photography subjects there just aren’t that many BAMErs active, and there’s nothing stopping them there.

  21. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    GayRoper beat me to it. The similarities are amazing. Film well worth watching if you missed it first time around.

  22. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    Chips are of course best done in beef fat, but given that it’s preposterously expensive compared to generic vegetable oil I doubt any neighbourhood chippie uses it.

  23. Chester – ” I learned this from a Jewish guy. He had the same problem.”

    But we’ve been assured that Jews invented Fish and Chips, and were gracious enough to bestow them on the benighted, apparently non-fried food eating Brits!

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