The Daily Telegraph
BBC ‘must step up efforts to connect with white working-class audiences’
THE BBC has failed to connect with white working- class audiences and must do more to make them feel represented, according to the broadcaster’s head of diversity. June Sarpong said her work to improve representation of underserved groups would extend beyond black and Asian people.
She was appointed as the BBC’S first director of creative diversity last year and is the only black person on the executive board.
“I’m the only one in the room. Nothing new there,” she said. Speaking at Ofcom’s Small Screen, Big Debate conference, Sarpong said her job was to ensure that no part of the audience was ignored. She said: “Often the BAME [black, Asian and minority ethnic] audience gets a lot of focus, in that the BBC doesn’t represent BAME audiences enough, and we talk about young people. But we know we’ve had serious issues in terms of our connection with C2DE audiences and I think it’s about getting the balance.
“As somebody who is an advocate for diversity, I’m always making sure I’m banging the drum for working-class audiences because my parents were immigrants and we grew up in a white working-class community.
“I totally understand when it comes to immigration, that is the community that has actually lived it, and often we don’t have the sort of nuanced debate around this stuff that we need to.”