Something is bothering me ..

Yesterday I saw a Twitter feed about the lack of diversity in ITV’s Love Island­čî┤. I’ve never seen the programme although I’ve seen the ads with the identikit 20 somethings. Whilst I can’t comment about the specifics it really got me thinking about diversity in our society. I grew up in a multi cultural part of Bristol and my school represented its community, reflecting on it now it was an inclusive and integrated school long before such things became political. However that multi cultural community in which I grew up seems less visible today. Last weekend we went to a party in a very ‘nice’ golf club on the outskirts of Bristol, same city, different area 30 years later and there was not one person of colour at the club, everyone was white. There are no COC at my children’s school although there are in the clubs they attend which cover a wider geographic area. I started to think about ITV and some of their programmes and struggled to think of a mainstream presenter of colour, yes there’s Alison Hammond from This Morning who I think is great but she’s cast as the big, bubbly black woman, another stereotype fulfilled and her career developed after Big Brother (probably the most inclusive reality show) rather than a more formal career path. Too many of our presenters are successful because of family ties, a certain look and networks, which is true of politicians, leading companies etc.. It’s all pretty depressing. Yesterday the BBC also announced that it had settled an equal pay case with one of its senior reporters and she donated the back pay to a women’s charity to help others achieve such equality. FFS this is 2018 and we still don’t have what me and my friends were demanding and protesting for 30 years ago, why as a society does it feel that we are promoting an image that seems less equal and inclusive? Great developments have taken place particularly with LGBT rights but prejudice still exists and there is still so much to do. It’s up to us to shout, to act, simple acts have an effect. My twitter feed is full of #loveisland comments, perhaps if everyone switched off then ITV would take action, it will give its audience what they want, we just need them to know that it’s a show which reflects our multi cultural society.

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