We at the BYP Network, have been strong advocates of diversity and inclusion for black professionals. The media is a massive area where we fight on a daily basis to change the narrative that is portrayed of the black community.
This current situation with the BBC highlights everything we stand against and makes it clearer than ever, that things simply need to change at all levels of companies.
The BBC recently aired a public TV broadcast where the N word was said, TWICE, uncensored.
After nearly 20,000 complaints through the official BBC channel, the BBC Director-General, Tony Hall said the following in response to the complaints:
“Every organisation should be able to acknowledge when it has made a mistake. We made one here.”
The fact that the airing of a broadcast where the N word was referred to as a ‘mistake’ is an indication of the insincerity in which the BBC have chosen to handle matters such as this.
We will not stand for it. We urge you not to stand for it also.
A BBC Blackout Day has been proposed on Wednesday 19th August. A 24-hour boycott where we will not be accessing any BBC content, whether that be TV, online, radio and via social media. We implore that whether you are black or non-black, if you are an ally and you support the cause, that you join us in this boycott.
It needs to be made clear that what was done will not be accepted, nor tolerated.
Simply put. We are not your n****rs.
We stand in power with DJ Sideman, a black presenter employed by the BBC 1Xtra radio show, who resigned from his role after saying that the BBC’s actions regarding using and defending the use of the slur “feels like a slap in the face of our community”.
He also said:
“On this occasion, I just don’t think I can look the other way. We live in a world that needs to change, systems that need to change, organisations that need to change.”
We greatly echo these sentiments as this is not something we can look the other way about. Major changes need to be made internally and not just at the BBC either, at every company that has no issue using a black talent or black culture to promote their brands, however, doesn’t offer even a fraction of the same level of care, attention or energy when it comes to matters of the black struggle. To stand in solidarity, and to show how serious we are, BYP Network declined to work with BBC studios to promote their roles to our community. We don’t feel an organisation that can so candidly disrespect our community could genuinely create an inclusive work environment for our members at this stage.
We see through it and we will continue to fight the fight so that we can support platforms which have our best interests at heart.
Until serious actions are taken, BYP will not be supporting the BBC in any capacity and we hope that you will join us in supporting this initiative.
Written by Tonte Bo Douglas (@TalkWithTonte)