Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Quotas

I watched a BBC news broadcast this morning which involved "throws" to a series of local reporters across the country. In my mind these little segments absolutely proved why positive discrimination in the TV industry has reached a point of, well, pointlessness. 

I have watched it heading in this particular direction throughout my career. An edict passes through the ranks which suggests TV needs more women and more ethnic minorities. Loose targets are set, and shrewd bosses realise they can kill two birds with one stone if they find a woman who also belongs to an ethnic minority: ideally one who also seems middle class and intelligent enough to present the news...

So, increasingly, our local TV screens are filled with somewhat vacuous, posh women from ethnic minorities, who are shipped up from London to learn their craft reporting on local issues. 

It actually makes my blood boil. These women usually have Sloanney accents and positively reek of public school privilege. I'd be surprised if a single one of them came from a council estate. Few of them probably even need to work for a living! By hiring these women we are doing nothing to address inequality. In fact, we're simply being hideously patronising and undermining women from ethnic minorities with genuine talent who have worked bloody hard to get where they are in life. 

The problem with quotas is that they can be massaged. Genuine diversity is should revolve around access. Your colour, sexuality or gender shouldn't matter. Whether you have had access to opportunity should. I'm sorry if this offends anyone. I am a genuine believer in equality. I just believe it's important to first ascertain what inequality actually means. 

We worked for twelve solid hours before making a quick stir fry, taking ourselves for a walk around the block and settling down in front of the telly to watch Derren Brown's fascinating and somewhat chilling new show on Channel 4 plus one. Nathan continued to format scores, but banned me from working because he says I don't know how to relax. So I wrote this blog in the advert breaks instead! 

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