There’s good news and bad news, for people who think Benefits Street is an exploitative exercise, designed to be divisive in spite of the damage it has done to the residents of James Turner Street, playfully – and damagingly – coined Benefits Street.
Residents have been portrayed in a negative light
The bad news: Benefits Street is getting another series. Love Productions and Channel 4 have confirmed this. The good news: it won’t focus on Birmingham any more, giving the cash-strapped locals a chance to breath after the media spotlight was firmly gazing down on them and their habits.
“Love Productions are in development and researching potential new locations for a second series of Benefits Street, a spokesman told the Birmingham Mail. “The first series ignited an important debate about the welfare system and we are interested in seeing if we can revisit this through the experiences of residents of a street in a different part of Britain.”
Local councillor Chaman Lal welcomed the move away from Birmingham claiming the programme had “damaged” the reputation of the area and its residents. “I will be pleased to see the back of the programme,” he said.
“It has left a very damaging aftermath for the people of Winson Green.” There is more bad news, though. Now that Benefits Street has stigmatised the action of claiming government money for things like food and shelter in Birmingham, its set to taint another poor part of the U.K with the same blind culture of stereotyping.
Fungi and a staff
The controversial show has been the subject of nationwide debate since it first aired at the beginning of January. Residents on James Turner Street have been subject to death threats, bullying and nationwide criticism. How they’ll get another community to commit to a series is beyond this weary staff writer.