Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Tokenism rules!

It is just possible that some people may be offended by the odd word or two or even the opinions expressed in this post.  Believe me, I am not out to offend, I'm simply ignorant of the currently politically correct terminology/

Anyway, tokenism in all its forms offends me.  You know what I mean: why should anybody employ a man/woman/black/Asian/lesbian just so that the ethnic or whatever minority is represented?  Surely any position, be it paid or voluntary, should be filled by the best qualified person available?

This has come to the forefront of my mind because of a new television programme soon to be aired by the BBC.  It also raises the question; should art reflect real life or try to influence real life?  The programme I'm talking about is a fictional police drama set (and filmed) right here in Brighton.  the local paper printed pictures of  five members of the cast.  Three are white, one Asian and one black.  Now, I know that the population of Brighton contains people of all shapes sizes and colours - but it just so happens that none of the police officers I have seen in the city have been anything other than white.

A long-running (police) series - now finished - was set in the fictional English county of Midsomer and filmed largely in Buckinghamshire.  Each programme was set in what many would describe as idealised English villages, full of thatched cottages, village greens and country pubs.  The sort of places where the entire population is white.  There were complaints that no coloured person appeared in the cast, so one programme featured an Asian pharmacist and his daughter.  Tokenism.

And we see the same thing happening in posed photographs for advertisements: a group of people, supposedly from England, contains one each white, black and Asian.  Yet the population of England is nowhere near so evenly spread.  The 2011 census showed that 87% are white, 7% Asian and just 3% black.  The remaining 3% were basically mixed or other races.  Shouldn't our television programmes and so on reflect that ratio?

OK, rant over!

1 comment:

joeh said...

I am incensed that not enough old fat bald white men are represented in tv.