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BBC admits a problem with portrayal

23 February 2012

BBC Director General Mark Thompson (left) has responded to campaigning pressure and acknowledged the BBC has a problem with portrayal. Speaking after the launch of Serving All Ages – The Views of Audiences and Experts, a report on audience research from the Creative Diversity Network (CDN), he said: “There are lessons here for the BBC and the rest of Britain’s broadcasters. It is young people who are most concerned with the way they are portrayed and we need to look at this. But we should also note the concern, expressed by older people generally, about the need for greater visibility for older women. While of course there are many older women presenters and actors across our airwaves, this is something that needs to be addressed.”

Equity has campaigned for many years about the difficulties faced by many actresses as they get older in finding work. In Equity's latest campaign more than nine and a half thousand people, including some of the UK’s best known performers, have signed a petition calling on TV companies to address the imbalance of male and female roles on UK television. Recent research reveals that for every two male roles in a drama there is just one female. Make sure you join in the protest and sign the online petition here!

A summary of Serving All Ages – The Views of Audiences and Experts was presented to the Council in February. The CDN brings together Britain’s leading broadcasters to improve the representation of ethnic minorities in television both on screen and behind the camera. The full report can be downloaded from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/diversity/pdf/serving_all_ages_acc.pdf.

For more information about what was decided at the February meeting of the Equity Council go to: https://www.equity.org.uk/documents/council-report-21-february-2012/?preview=true.

HOW THE MEDIA REPORTED THIS

WOMEN AT THE BBC: IT'S BETTER LATE THAN NEVER FOR MARK THOMPSON
GUARDIAN
Director general's mea culpa comes just two weeks after he denied the corporation had a problem
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/the-womens-blog-with-jane-martinson/2012/feb/09/women-bbc-late-mark-thompson?newsfeed=true
 
BBC'S MARK THOMPSON: THERE AREN'T ENOUGH OLDER WOMEN ON TV
HUFFINGTON POST
There are not enough older women on TV, the head of the BBC has admitted.
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/02/09/bbc-mark-thompson-older-women-tv-miriam-o-reilly_n_1264835.html
 
'I'M SORRY, MR THOMPSON BUT WHATEVER YOU SAY, THE BBC STILL TREATS OLDER WOMEN AS UNWANTED AND INVISIBLE,' SAYS MIRIAM O'REILLY
DAILY MAIL
A man called Ray summed up the problem facing women on TV as they get older.  I was on Radio  2’s  Jeremy Vine show when Ray phoned up to share his view, formed over years of not just watching  television but also having worked in the industry.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2103153/Im-sorry-Mr-Thompson-say-BBC-treats-older-women-unwanted-invisible-says-Miriam-OReilly.html#ixzz1oQd9ZrvF

GENDER BIAS AT THE BBC: WHAT'S THE EVIDENCE?
DAILY TELEGRAPH
I got on a plane this morning (I'm still on it, wish me luck, it's bumpy, and the picture on the safety card didn't make me feel any better, showing a serenely placid passenger, up to her neck in a suspiciously calm body of water, with a seat-cushion tucked under her neck in order to hold her afloat – I'm doubting I'll look like that if we fall 30,000 feet into the Atlantic), and, as luck would have it, found myself sat next to the woman whose work/life/family juggling I'd described in Saturday's column. What are the chances? I'm going to North Carolina for heaven's sake. Anyway she told me she liked the piece, so that was OK.
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/graemearcher/100137245/gender-bias-at-the-bbc-whats-the-evidence/
 
ROWAN ATKINSON: MIRIAM O'REILLY BBC AGEISM ROW AN ATTACK ON 'FREE EXPRESSION'
DAILY TELEGRAPH
The BBC should have been allowed to sack Miriam O’Reilly from Countryfile without fear of sparking an age discrimination row, according to Rowan Atkinson, the actor.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/9099307/Rowan-Atkinson-Miriam-OReilly-BBC-ageism-row-an-attack-on-free-expression.html

 

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