The BBC is in crisis. Putting aside the current lull in TV production due to COVID-19 there is a lot going wrong with the state funded broadcaster, argues Ben Smith.

In addition to the network's declining reputation regarding its questionable and biased news reporting, the BBC is feverishly pursuing an increasingly woke culture in regards to its TV shows and the casting thereof. Talent agencies and actors in the UK are faced with the worrying trend of forced diversity that doesn't just go after new shows but also criticised existing shows like Luther. Apparently Idris Elba isn't authentically black enough. Who knew?

Like any other network the BBC wants, and indeed needs, fresh original content. However, it appears that besides the always well received period pieces, the BBC is focusing on content that 'matters'. What does that mean? Well, you guessed it; it means shows that are about minorities, social issues, race, class, gender etc. A good story? Irrelevant, as long as it's about a hot topic that 'progressive' and woke people will praise for raising awareness and criticizing the status quo. This drive for woke content feeds into the well documented phenomenon of 'go woke, go broke' which we've seen in Hollywood, when movies and TV shows' sole purpose is to carry a political message and dissect current issues.

While there are still plenty of fun shows with good storylines on our screens, the uptick in woke characters and storylines is evident. Even though Hollywood is still the main perpetrator of this creative sin, the BBC is following suit at a rapid pace. A prime example is the casting of Jodie Whittaker as Doctor Who, a decision that was praised by the left and trashed by fans. The issue wasn't that the next Doctor was a woman but that it was blatantly obvious that her sole purpose was to be progressive and bash masculinity. As such the character had no identity other than being a figurehead for the identity politics mob. There was no interest in fleshing out her character; what mattered is that she's a woman.

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This leads to the next issue the BBC is increasingly guilty of; biased casting. Sources from talent agencies report that for many roles everyone is accepted except white people. Now white people are directly excluded from even auditioning. What a just world we live in. This of course happens under the ideology of fairness and equality. The BBC interprets this by excluding white people just for the sake of being white. Equality achieved. No longer is a role cast according to the best audition but by how non-white the acting professional is. Never mind that this kind of exclusion doesn't serve anyone, least those it's meant to benefit.

This kind of 'progressive' typecasting is not what minorities want. This is white saviorism at its worst. It is patronising and disregards true talent in minority communities in favour of hand-outs. This evident enforcing of a minority quota among acting professionals is about identity politics first and good storytelling last. So, in the BBC's increasingly disconnected and elitist thinking, stories and characters in TV shows need to serve woke ideology. They don't seem to care about abysmal ratings or the fact that they are hemorrhaging subscriptions. As long as they are 'progressive', all is good in the gilded world of the BBC.

So, what does that actually mean? It could be argued that these shows don't matter in the large scheme of things. It's just TV after all. What matters are real political decisions and tangible social change. However, this trend regarding the network's preference for non-white acting professionals and woke stories have already hurt viewing numbers. Seeing as the BBC is a business in the end, it is baffling how they are ignoring the general audience and focus instead on the small but influential group of the leftist mob. If the BBC doesn't course correct and try for content that is original, has a well balanced cast and tells stories that don't preach woke ideology, then the network is doomed.

A slow decline in reputation and quality will lead to the end of one of the most influential and important broadcasters in Europe. This is cancel culture reversed; pushing programming that only a tiny mob wants to see without being truly inclusive and without respecting those who this ideology is meant to help. Time will tell if the BBC will turn around or keep digging its own grave. For the sake of good stories and all who work to bring them to the screen, I hope it's not too late.

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