Media Leading Public to Believe Country Far More Black and Gay than Reality: Report

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 23: (Back row L-R) Aisha Bywaters, Emma Appleton, Bel Powley, Dolly Alderton, Marli Siu, Aliyah Odoffin, China Moo-Young and Surian Fletcher-Jones, (Front row L-R) Ryan Bown, Connor Finch and Jordan Peters attend a photocall for new BBC drama "Everything I Know About Love" at BAFTA on …
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Britain’s diverse media has given the public the impression that their country is far more black and gay than it actually is, recent polling has found.

Britain’s overly diverse media appears like it may have skewed the general public’s understanding of reality itself, with a YouGov poll finding that normal people considerably underestimate how white and straight the United Kingdom tends to be in real life.

With previous reports concluding that the UK’s television industry vastly overrepresents homosexuals and those from so-called BAME — black, Asian and minority ethnic — backgrounds, the new poll has found that the general public also vastly overestimates the prevalence of transgender people, Muslims and Jews in Britain, while underestimating the overall prevalence of Europe ethnicities.

According to the results of the YouGov poll as published by the Daily Mail, those quizzed by the polling group reportedly believed that black individuals represented around 20 per cent of the British population, despite those from African ethnic backgrounds making up only 3 per cent of those in the UK.

Respondents also vastly overestimated the number of gay and self-described transgender people in their society, estimating that around 15 per cent of the population is gay and around 5 per cent transgender, despite making up only 1.8 per cent and 0.3-0.7 per cent of the population respectively.

This trend was the same for the UK’s population of Muslims — which the public perceived as being 15 per cent of the population despite being closer to five — Jews — 10 per cent vs half a per cent in reality — and vegan and vegetarians, which are perceived to make up one-fifth of the British population but in reality only make up four per cent of those in the country.

“This distorted impression created by much of the broadcast and online media is so out of tune with the facts as to befuddle people about the true character of Britain,” said Conservative party MP John Hayes in response to the survey’s findings, before concluding that “media preoccupations with minorities are skewing the facts.”

By contrast to the above results, those responding to the survey seemed to believe that only around 65 per cent of their nation’s population are white, despite the fact that European ethnicities make up around 87 per cent of the country, the vast majority of which are heterosexual.

A study published in 2020 found that BAME on-screen representation in British TV stood at just under 25 per cent, despite the amalgamated group only representing a total of around 14 per cent of the country’s population at the time, with gay and lesbian representation enjoying a similar overrepresentation on screen.

Homosexuals were also found to be vastly overrepresented in off-screen production efforts within the five major UK broadcasters covered by the study.

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