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"Like being on a plantation" working at the BBC, blamed for racial inequality

Too many of current and former Black employees have described the BBC as "toxic working environment" where ethnic minorities are passed up for career advancement or continuously controlled by white managers. Working at the London hub for BBC Africa is "like being on a plantation", some workers said, after that the claims were revealed when some of the BBC’s staff expressed racism concerns in a Zoom call which was later leaked to the Huffington Post.

One person declared that "Although they may let some black people in through the door, they keep them at the junior level, at the bottom rung of the ladder."

Tony Hall has called for more diversity within the BBC. Image credit PA/Daily Express

Another added: "Even when you're in a senior role, as a black person you're not trusted with your judgment. You're 'helicopter checked' by white managers more often than not, who have the final say over how stories are told.

"It's the most hurtful kind of bigotry because you know you're being overlooked, passed over because of the colour of your skin."

From the statistics, the staff that works for the BBC Africa's London hub is mostly composed of white managers who run a newsroom of predominantly black, junior-level staffers. Talking and expressing concerns and distresses within the working environment, a black employee declared that "Working here is like being on a plantation. What we're doing is producing propaganda - a colonial view of how white people see the continent.

"The BBC is institutionally racist. It was never built for us but we were allowed to come in.

"Are they prepared to change that? I don't believe so because it will mean having to give away some of their powers."

A BBC spokesman responded to the comments saying that "roughly half" of BBC Africa managers in London, and more than two-thirds of the management across the whole of BBC Africa, are black or Asian.

These statements come after commotions over the BBC's "woke" removing of Rule Britannia and Land Of Hope And Glory in its Proms coverage, and its stopping of free TV licence fees for over-75s.

Specifically, a new OnePoll analysis of 1,000 people has found out that more than 57% believe the fee should be axed and replaced with a subscription service, as Netflix or Sky have already put in place.

The BBC censored 'Rule Britannia' at the proms. Image credit PA/Daily Express

Nearly a third said there should be no fee and just 43% feel the BBC, which charges £157 annually, is value for money. Nonetheless, outgoing director-general Lord Hall is looking to improve diversity within the company and have more of its staff work outside of London.

He stated: "You don't want people who all think alike. You need diverse voices around the table; that could be diverse because you've got black, Asian, minority voices around the table.

"The second thing is that we should be more out of London. We're 50 per cent in London and 50 percent out. We can do much better than that. I think we can get to 70 percent out of London."

A BBC spokeswoman added: "The BBC is an inclusive and welcoming organisation, and we are saddened if anyone is experiencing any form of discrimination at work.

"That is why we have put so much effort into ensuring that we have robust processes in place for staff to raise complaints. There is more work to do on diversity at leadership levels and we are fully committed to achieving this."

Surely, the truth lies in between the two different versions of the story, but when will a balance be found not to hear any more of the regular working racial inequality agonies?

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