London, Jan. 3 (ANI): British MP Harriet Harman has slammed BBC, ITV and other broadcasters for "getting rid" of women presenters once they get older, and valuing older men for their "experience and wisdom."
"I was looking at the figures to be a BBC news presenter as a woman you have to be ten years younger than the men, and on ITV it is again 10 years younger," The Telegraph quoted Harman, as saying.
"They just have to stop getting rid of the [women] that they've got. When they get older they don't need to go out and look for older women, they might have been invisible to the BBC, stop overlooking them once they get to a certain age," she added.
The equalities minister's attack on BBC comes at a time when the corporation is planning to recruit a "new wave" of women presenters aged 50 or above.
But Harman, in an interview with Radio 4, said: "I think that the broadcast media finds it possible to value the older man as having experience and wisdom because they're older but I don't think they find it possible to value the older woman.
"There is nothing wrong with a woman looking like an older woman because there are a lot of older women watching TV and recognising their lives on the screen. I think it is partly the failure to recognise the serious contribution women can make," she added.
Harman also hit out at the classic television news partnership of an older man and a younger woman.
"The man as the authority figure and the woman as compliant attractive supporter doesn't appeal to me," she said.
She added: "How old is Oprah Winfrey? She is going from strength to strength, she is setting up her global TV station. I think that it's a bit like when we were told you can't have women candidates as voters won't vote for them. Now we're told viewers won't view older women. I just don't buy that." (ANI)