The thought entered that this was another all too deliberate scratching of the racist itch, and that the complaints would not be seriously entertained. So it was that Ofcom told yesterday they would not be taking the matter further. This is how they put it.
“We carefully considered a large number of complaints about this artistic routine, an area where freedom of expression is particularly important … Diversity’s performance referred to challenging and potentially controversial subjects, and in our view, its central message was a call for social cohesion and unity”. There was more.
“Any depictions of violence by the performers were highly stylised and symbolic of recent global events, and there was no explicit reference to any particular political organisation - but rather a message that the lives of black people matter … We will not be taking this case on to formal investigation”. Freedom of expression 1, Gammonati 0.
But those not really making a racist gesture have since latched on to two more targets, both of whom just happen to be black. First was boxer Nicola Adams, there being the added bonus that this time, it was the hated BBC on the receiving end. The Murdoch Sun could hardly contain its glee as it went after Strictly Come Dancing.
“THE BBC has issued a statement defending Strictly Come Dancing after viewers complained about Nicola Adams being paired with another woman … The Beeb revealed they'd received a flood of complaints after Olympic boxer Nicola, 37, made history by entering Strictly's first ever same-sex pairing”. It’s TEH GAYS! Aarghh! Jibber! JIBBER!
Cue more pointless whinging to Ofcom. Then came the news that the Beeb was overhauling long-running quiz show A Question Of Sport. Sue Barker, who had hosted the show for 24 years, was out. So were team captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell. The rumours began to circulate that Ms Barker’s replacement would be footballer Alex Scott.
What’s wrong with that? Ah, but Ms Scott just happens to be black. The Mail was instantly outraged, especially because they could work their hatred of Gary Lineker into the story. The Match of the Day lead host had Tweeted “Congratulations and good luck to @AlexScott on being the new host for Question Of Sport. Smart, knowledgeable and perfectly qualified for the role. Oh... and if you have a problem with Alex getting the job, you might just be part of the problem”. Cue Gammonati meltdown.
So that’s even more pointless complaints, then. Three lots of complaints, three targets that just happen to be black, every one amplified by the right-wing press. I’m sure that’s just one of those remarkable coincidences. As is the press pouncing on all three.
And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything. I’ll just leave that one there.
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