BBC’s BAME Representation Called Into Question Again; 'Eastenders' Compared to E. London
Watchdog claims the popular sitcom is still too far away from a realistic representation
In a bid to convey the lack of Black, Asian and minority ethnic representation in Eastenders, The BBC's audience council in England compared the population of Walthamstow in east London with Walford, the fictional home of EastEnders.
Danny Dyer recently joined the Eastenders cast
The conclusion: the British soap is "almost twice" as white as real life London, prompting the latest criticism of the BBC’s effort to realistically convey the U.K’s demographics realistically.
Diane Coyle, the acting head of the BBC Trust explained the finding in a speech in on Monday adding it would be "daft" for the show to be a "perfect replica" of the real world, adding that it was "important to ask whether the BBC can do more in its popular output to provide an authentic portrayal of life in modern Britain".
It doesn’t stop with Eastenders, although that would, presumably be a good place to start given its popularity on the channel. Ms Coyle also asked for improvements in BBC One's output across the board, stating that according to BBC research, BBC One "plays it too safe in parts of its peak-time schedule" – “BBC One is greatly appreciated. But it can sometimes feel too predictable. Its viewers expect still more from it," she added.
The BBC pledged last week to improve their BAME representation both on and off the air. The corporation announced a new £2.1m fund intended to develop new programs with a view to providing an equal output - targets call for about one in six people on-air to be from BAME backgrounds within three years, which represents an increase of nearly 5%.