BBC Diversity Exec: ‘White Privilege’ Is Fact, White People ‘Will Never Be Discriminated Against’ for Race

Jo Hale/Getty Images
Jo Hale/Getty Images

BBC diversity chief June Sarpong has insisted that “white privilege” is a fact and white people “will never be discriminated against” for their race.

Sarpong, the London-born daughter of Ghanaian migrants, told the Telegraph that “There is unfairness baked into our system” in an interview on her role as the publicly-funded broadcaster’s director of creative diversity.

“I don’t for a single second say that all white people are privileged. Of course not. But there are benefits even if you come from a low income and you’re white. You’re never judged on your race,” she claimed, adding: “You may be discriminated against because of class, you may be discriminated against because of your age, you may be discriminated against because of gender, size, etc, but you will never be discriminated against because of your race and that in itself feeds into the concept of white privilege.”

This is arguably not the case at the BBC, however, which frequently advertises so-called training opportunities and “internships” — which often pay more than a full-time job on the minimum wage — which white people and sometimes white men in particular are banned from applying for.

Sarpong, who is being paid £75,000 to work three days a week directing a £100 million fund to produce more “diverse and inclusive content” at the BBC — where minorities are already overrepresented and the white working class significantly underrepresented — went on to double down on her belief in the highly contentious idea of “white privilege”, suggesting that many white people merely need to have their eyes opened to it and they will become keen to atone.

“The thing about modern privilege is that if you’re the beneficiary, often you’re unaware that you’re the beneficiary, and that’s the whole point, isn’t it? Because the default is white and everything that isn’t is other,” she said.

“And I think, actually, the minute many white people understand that, they stand up and say, ‘My God, I never knew. I want to be part of the solution.’”

Sarpong has even released a book titled The Power of Privilege which lectures readers on the subject of How White People Can Challenge Racism, which the Telegraph helpfully promoted in its interview article.

The installation of Sarpong, a committed leftist who launched the anti-Brexit Britain Stronger in Europe (BSE) campaign and signalled agreement with Boris Johnson’s sister that MPs should overturn the people’s vote to Leave the European Union on a Sky News panel in 2017, is a curious choice for the BBC, already mired in accusations of increasingly blatant left-wing bias, especially given her belief in “white privilege”.

Being funded by a compulsory licence fee, which all people who watch live television must pay — even if none of it is BBC programming — or else face fines backed by the threat of imprisonment, the BBC is supposed to be neutral on political and social issues, with its staff required to keep their personal views to themselves, at least in theory.

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