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CBBC's Balamory: Ethnic Minority OVERLOAD!

(October 2003)

RO
roo London London
I feel there is a slight tendancy now to go overboard on 'representing'. Taking this slightly OT, IIRC by law 3% of the workforce in a business or something have to be disabled. (guess who's doing Business Management Wink
I just think deliberately picking disabled people for jobs just to hit a quota is a bit strange. I'm not trying to suggest the disabled shouldn't be working - but this seems to be going against the idea of equal opportunities.
Another example is that tragic show on Sky One - Gamezville? No doubt picking two black presenters was merely to identify with the youth Rolling Eyes
KA
Katherine Founding member
Barney Boo posted:
I feel there is a slight tendancy now to go overboard on 'representing'. Taking this slightly OT, IIRC by law 3% of the workforce in a business or something have to be disabled. (guess who's doing Business Management Wink

I just think deliberately picking disabled people for jobs just to hit a quota is a bit strange. I'm not trying to suggest the disabled shouldn't be working - but this seems to be going against the idea of equal opportunities.

EURGH - quotas and targets! Two words that totally encapsulate the present government's enigmatic attitude towards minorities!!
TM
Telly Media (previously Sky Networks) London London
I can understand people slagging off quota's and targets, but they're not an invention of New Labour. These things have been around for decades, and were only ever introduced to try and end discrimination against disabled people.
GS
Gavin Scott Founding member STV Central Reporting Scotland
steveimp posted:
I think so too.

(And now we will have the PC brigade accusing us of being racist)

Here in the States, one of the big stories in the last couple of days has been Rush Limbaugh's resignation from ESPN following his comments regarding Philadelphia Eagles' black quarterback, Donovan McNabb:

Rush Limbaugh posted:
I don't think he's been that good from the get-go. I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. I think the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.

Here is the paradox. Rush is now playing the "I didn't mean any racial offence, I was criticising the media". anyone who has read or heard his appaulingly ultra right-wing propoganda might find this hard to swallow.

Because this man, known for his offensive statements, makes this type of comment, it waters down the argument for less 'conservative' citizens to express a similar point of view for fear of being dismissed as racist.

The full text of what he said can be found here.
CO
Corin
Gavin Scott posted:
I was criticising the media". anyone who has read or heard his appaulingly ultra right-wing propoganda might find this hard to swallow.

As someone who has listened to Rush Limbaugh's show, which has in the past been rated as the most listened to daily talk show in North America, if not the world, then I feel that I am qualified to state that I feel that the motivation was once again Limbaugh's perceived bias in the media against white male reactionaries.

The fact that he chose to do so in a manner which was derogatory to the abilities of a person of color, and also overlooked the fact that there have been successful quality black quaterbacks in the NFL for at least the past 15 years, however, is reprehensible. For somebody who over indulgently prides himself on his own perceived superior intelligence, this was a most stupid thing to say, but when one is obsessed with one's own beliefs, rational argument is one of the first casualties.

Another media personality who has also gotten himself into hot water over making racial slurs, is NZ TV's very own Paul Holmes, on his daily radio talk show.

From <http://straitstimes.asia1.com.SG/latest/story/0,4390,212177-1064872740,00.html>

Quote:
Main sponsor pulls out after NZ TV host's racial slur

A NEW Zealand television station has lost a key sponsor, Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand, after TV host Paul Holmes called United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan a 'cheeky darkie' on his morning radio show last week, according to a report on The New Zealand Herald website.

Mr Holmes said on his radio show that the world would not be told how to live by a Ghanaian; he called the UN chief a 'cheeky darkie'.

In a separate item on the same programme, the popular host also lamented the high numbers of women reporters in the profession. He said in a discussion on media issues that at certain times of the month newspapers get particularly judgmental.

Mitsubishi Motors managing director John Leighton on Monday said that while Mr Holmes' comments were made outside the TVNZ environment, his views about the UN chief and women reporters were 'completely unacceptable and incompatible with the ethos' of the multinational company
:-(
A former member Anglia (East) Look East
Believe me, when you see me fall to the floor having a Grand Mal seizure it sure DOES make at least one of my conditions very obvious indeed!!

How often does that happen, out of interest? I know as much about epilepsy as the average person (i.e. very little), so I am under the impression that seizures are *not* a frequent occurrence.

Introducing more complicated disabilities can then be introduced as the child grows older...

But let's be honest here, how many programmes primarily aimed at entertaining children are *ever* going to include characters having seizures or displaying cognitive abnormalities?

And just to bring this back to the original subject, my wife and I think Balamory is hilarious... as anyone who has ever visited the Scottish Highlands and islands will know, there are almost no non-white people in that part of the UK at all!

The BBC's casting choices give Balamory a very effective aura of unreality... Wink
JE
Jenny Founding member
Balamory's just doing what Sesame Street has been doing for years. Sesame Street has had wheelchair-bound, blind, deaf, white, black, and oriental regulars, not to mention a vampire and a bloody enormous talking bird! (Oh, and let's not forget the HIV-positive character in South Africa too).
KA
Katherine Founding member
Glorfindel posted:
Believe me, when you see me fall to the floor having a Grand Mal seizure it sure DOES make at least one of my conditions very obvious indeed!!

How often does that happen, out of interest? I know as much about epilepsy as the average person (i.e. very little), so I am under the impression that seizures are *not* a frequent occurrence.

I have one Grand Mal about every 10-15 days or so, but in some people the seizures can be much more regular, maybe up to about 20 per day if very severe. Some have them less frequently than I do. Between Grand Mals, I have a lot of 'absences', maybe about 3-5 per day. Some have happened when I've been on the computer!
KA
Katherine Founding member
Glorfindel posted:

Introducing more complicated disabilities can then be introduced as the child grows older...

But let's be honest here, how many programmes primarily aimed at entertaining children are *ever* going to include characters having seizures or displaying cognitive abnormalities?

I don't mean to the point of saturation, but when the need arises like on certain schools programming, Blue Peter or children's documentaries.... I remember that two disabled people were part of a series on Going Live called 'All About Me'; one had autism, Stephen Wiltshire, and a girl with Down's Syndrome. Two other people with Down's Syndrome danced to 'Music of the Night' from Phantom of the Opera on the show too, and Michael Crawford made a special effort to come to the studio to see them and was very moved by them... I don't think we'd get that on childrens' television now, a pity....
:-(
A former member Anglia (East) Look East
Katherine posted:
Barney Boo posted:
I feel there is a slight tendancy now to go overboard on 'representing'. Taking this slightly OT, IIRC by law 3% of the workforce in a business or something have to be disabled. (guess who's doing Business Management Wink

I just think deliberately picking disabled people for jobs just to hit a quota is a bit strange. I'm not trying to suggest the disabled shouldn't be working - but this seems to be going against the idea of equal opportunities.

EURGH - quotas and targets! Two words that totally encapsulate the present government's enigmatic attitude towards minorities!!


Quotas and targets. You've hit the Asian on the head.

This why I started this thread. It is clear the BBC has targets to meet, and this I feel is why they go mad with ethnic representation in certain programmes.

This is why I am cynical about their motives. They do it, not because they are well meaning, but because the government says so, and I think this erodes the credibility of ethnic representation in any of their programmes.
ST
Still
Jenny posted:
Balamory's just doing what Sesame Street has been doing for years. Sesame Street has had wheelchair-bound, blind, deaf, white, black, and oriental regulars, not to mention a vampire and a bloody enormous talking bird! (Oh, and let's not forget the HIV-positive character in South Africa too).


Don't forget that woman who used to dress up as Charlie Chaplin. Sesame St - Chaplinly inclusive.

I think there is a problem for tv producers in the number of minority faces they put on the screen. I heard a discussion on the radio the other day where Mike Dickin was complaining about obvious cases where as he put it, "A black face or two turn up for no reason" - to which he was asked why there had to be a reason. Which while correct, also supported Mike's point - everybody seems to be aware that minorities are being represented regardless of actual talent at times. It all too often appears like tokenism.

To take the example of characters in soaps, I feel the integration is awful. Never worse than when Coronation St introduced an entire Indian Family, as a block. Now obviously that is not an uncommon thing, but whilst there were no other indian characters in the periphery of the cast, it appeared very much like box ticking. The same is true of the Indian family in Eastenders. The immediate storyline of going to a lavish Indian wedding appeared to me as something to educate us all.

Other examples I think we can look at could be 'The Crouches', and another sitcom I forget the name of, where Jasper Carrott played the father of an Indian family, which included a severely disabled son.

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