UK race watchdog says most popular TV programmes 'too white'

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London, July 17 : The Chairman of Britain's Equality and Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips, has claimed that some of Britain's most popular television programmes are "too white" in orientation and delivery.

In a report forwarded to the Gordon Brown Government, Phillips said that popular programmes like the "Vicar of Dibley" and "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" are two such programmes that come to mind in this regard.

According to Phillips, the research found that Black and Asian viewers felt that despite the growing number of ethnic minorities living in the UK, they still felt under-represented on hit television shows.

When non-whites did appear in dramas and soaps, they said they were often "token" characters who were stereotyped as Asian shopkeepers, such as the character Dev in Coronation Street, and black single mothers like Denise in EastEnders.

Viewers praised reality shows like the X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and The Apprentice, in which their talents rather than their skin colour defined ethnic minorities.

Phillips said that all the evidence showed that television was still "hideously white where it matters", a reference to those in senior roles.

"All these shortcomings were attributed to some extent to the perceived lack of a representative power base within UK media," he said.

ANI

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