BBC Denies Report That It Feeds Viewers “A Steady Diet Of Woke Bias”, Claims Findings Are “Cherry-Picked Or Highlighting Genuine Mistakes”
It may have been a merry Christmas holiday for many, but not so for the BBC, as the UK-based public broadcaster has found themselves sour after a new analytical report claimed that their content – from Waterloo Road to Doctor Who – is feeding viewers “a steady diet of woke bias”.
The report, as published by the (for lack of a better definition, as the group does not provide one on their website) ‘anti-woke’ research group Campaign For Common Sense and shared exclusively with local news outlet The Telegraph, surveyed the broadcaster’s “news and drama output” to measure just how much their various programmes focused on such topics as the country’s history of colonialism and gender ideology.
In terms of the former, the group found “a preoccupation by BBC News about Britain’s links to the transatlantic slave trade, with articles about the subject appearing online at a rate of more than one a week in 2023.”
They also noted that two series, Murder is Easy and Waterloo Road, each had a respective episode wherein their production teams hamfistedly attempted to tackle the topic, the first having inserted a colonialism allegory into Agatha Christie’s original story and the second featuring its cast of teenage students protesting against their school’s being named after a historical slave trader.
Regarding the prominence of the latter, the CCS pointed to a February BBC Radio 4 incident wherein they allowed two activist guests to brand Harry Potter scribe J.K. Rowling as transphobic without any push back, a June 2023 episode of the long-running British soap opera Casualty in which characters discussed the topic of ‘top surgery’ – wherein a biologically female, transgender individual undergoes a double mastectomy in service of distancing themselves from their original female identity – and recent episodes of Doctor Who, which introduced and featured Donna Noble’s transgender child Rose Noble, as portrayed by transgender actor Yasmin Finney.
Per the CCS, their main issue with the BBC’s aforementioned content is that in producing programmes with just this single world view, the broadcaster is failing to live up to its own editorial policy regarding impartiality which asserts that “When dealing with ‘controversial subjects’, we must ensure a wide range of significant views and perspectives are given due weight and prominence, particularly when the controversy is active,” and explicitly requires that “opinion should be clearly distinguished from fact.”
“This research reveals that, rather than upholding those high standards of impartiality, parts of the BBC continue to peddle a steady diet of woke bias both through the plotlines of popular dramas but also in some of its news coverage,” a spokesperson for the CCS told The Telegraph. “The Impartiality Plan, unveiled in the wake of a BBC scandal over trust, was supposed to mark a turning point for the corporation. Instead this research reveals the same old woke world view is still very much in operation. Two years ago, the BBC set itself very high standards to help restore viewers’ trust. It has singularly failed to meet those standards.”
Following its publication, the CCS’ report would draw an official response from the BBC, with a spokesperson telling The Telegraph, “Cherry-picking a handful of examples or highlighting genuine mistakes in thousands of hours of output does not constitute analysis and is not a true representation of BBC content.”
“We are proud that our output seeks to represent all audiences and a range of stories and perspectives,” they added. “Across the entirety of our services there will, of course, be occasions when people disagree with or want to challenge what they have watched or heard and we have well-publicised routes for them to do that.”