The BBC has caused controversy by banning white people from applying for a trainee job working for some of its popular programmes – including Springwatch and The One Show.
The one-year trainee production management assistant role with the BBC’s Science Unit in Glasgow is ‘only open to black, Asian and ethnically diverse candidates’.
According to the Daily Mail, the BBC would not disclose how many training roles were similarly advertised. However, a spokesman said: ‘The BBC is a welcoming, inclusive organisation committed to representing and reflecting our audiences. We support a scheme organised by Creative Access, an independent organisation dedicated to increasing diversity in the creative industries, which provides development roles, fully in line with the Equality Act.’
The advert excluding white people was produced by Creative Access, a company that aims to boost the number of ethnic minorities working in the creative, media and arts industries.
While positive discrimination is held to be unlawful under the Equality Act 2010, so-called ‘positive action’ is permissable for trainee and internship roles.
Many commentators saw the move as not being about equality but racism.
“No matter how the BBC dress this up, it is discrimination on the basis of race. It is not equality, it is racism,” one wrote.
Commentator Darren Grimes asked “Where is the ‘equality’ in this? How is this not discrimination based on racist employment policies?”
The revelation comes as a UK Govt Education Select Committee report finds that white working-class children are being left behind and neglected by the system.
However, BBC director general Tim Davie previously said in relation to Diversity: “We must from top to bottom represent the audiences we serve.
“We have made some big improvements, but we want and need to go further. This plan will ensure we are a modern, progressive, welcoming organisation.”