As well-meaning at it may be, banning one episode from a 1970’s sitcom, does not make up for 2,000 years of racism. Worryingly, TV executives seem to think that casting an African American in a dating show, means that somehow, we are ‘quits’ when it comes to slavery.
Said one protestor: ‘Tackling systemic injustice has to start somewhere, I was just hoping it would start somewhere more meaningful than the insipid comedy of David Walliams. Pulling down statues of slave-traders is an important gesture, ignoring Keith Lemon is just something we’ve always done.’
Gesture politics is being used as an act of misdirection, to mask continued abuses; as if Paul Daniels had pulled a rabbit out of a hat, while surreptitiously kicking Nelson Mandela in the balls. Being offered the fig-leaf of diversity in a fictional movie, should not make up for having your history erased in real life.
Said one BBC executive: ‘I understand the concerns of the black community and we want to offer appropriate reparation – and in that spirit, I offer you these shiny, glass beads.’