Just listening to the Today Programme and apparently the creater of Midsomer Murder has been suspended for claiming that there was no place in the programme for ethnic minorities. This story has been widely reported in The Telegraph, Guardian, BBC News and so on.
Am I surprised? Well, no considering the funny looks and remarks minorities often face when 'venturing out of the cities'. If you don't believe me, take a look at the first episode of the new reality tv show on Channel 4OD - Love Thy Neighbour. A black family with three young boys are competing with a white stepfamily to win a house in an 'idylic' village, but immediately on arrival they were gawked at as if the villagers had spotted a new species. Perhaps they had, as some of the locals mentioned that their children had never seen a black face before, apart from on tv I'm presuming.
Then we cut to a number of vox-pops from villagers wondering if they would fit in, and stating that 'some' people just wouldn't like it. I suppose we were supposed to be somewhat uplifted when they beat the other family to go through to the next round, but the programme left a bitter taste in my mouth.
It will be interesting to see if there is a blacklash to the suspension of Brian True-May, after all he did create a successful series and they are hard to come by. And is it racism if you're simply recreating the reality which exists in villages throughout England? As supposed to projecting an idealistic (but possibly unrealistic) notion of multiculturalism on our tv screens?
What really sticks in my throat is the assertion that True-May believes the lack of black faces is the reason for it's popularity. Is this because the series harks back to 'the good old days' when everyone was English and looked the same?
The logical conclusion which follows from that line of reasoning is that you can't be black and English. But do people still think that in 2011?