A new BBC policy of positive discrimination has been criticised as “completely racist” and “PC tokenism that makes people’s blood boil”.
According to the Telegraph, Conservative MP Philip Davies, who sits on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, said that a new target to get one in seven presenters on the state-owned corporation to be from ethnic minority backgrounds was “absolutely ridiculous” after Director General Lord Hall unveiled the policy yesterday.
The BBC boss said that under the new policy, 15 percent of on-air staff at the state-owned corporation will be from ethnic minorities by 2017, along with 10 percent of behind-the-scenes managers.
Speaking at the corporation’s Elstree Studios, Lord Hall said the BBC should be “beyond reproach” on diversity. He said: “The BBC gets much right on diversity, but the simple fact is that we need to do more. I am not content for the BBC to be merely good or above average.
“I want a new talent-led approach that will help set the pace in the media industry. I believe in this and want our record to be beyond reproach.
“That won’t be achieved overnight, but the package of measures I’ve put in place, alongside the support we’ll get from leading experts, will make a tangible difference.”
He also announced the creation of a new group of “diversity” advisors, including comedian Lenny Henry, who has previously criticised the BBC for not doing enough to promote ethnic minority talent, paralympian Tanni Grey-Thompson, and broadcaster Floella Benjamin.
MP Philip Davies, however, was scathing of the policy. “I think it’s absolutely ridiculous,” he said. “It think it’s political correctness. This is the sort of PC tokenism that makes people’s blood boil.
“Tony Hall should be colourblind when it comes to recruitment. The only people who are racist are people like Tony Hall who see other people in terms of race.
“All recruitment should be irrespective of race, religion and sexuality – none of these things are relevant. It should all be done on ability.
“If that means every single person is black, then so be it. It’s the best people for the job.”