BBC discriminating against Asians: CRE

BBC's recruitment policies are producing a "racist outcome", unintentionally discriminating against black and Asian candidates, says CRE.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2004 17:21 IST

The BBC is unintentionally discriminating against black and Asian candidates during recruitment, according to the Commission for Racial Equality.

The BBC has been operating recruitment policies that produce a "racist outcome", unintentionally discriminating against black and Asian candidates.

Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, has complained that all 20 of director general Greg Dyke's most senior executives are white. The corporation, he adds, is based in London, where 30 per cent of the population is from an ethnic minority, yet it is "still struggling to hit seven or eight per cent" of staff from the communities.

"It would be ludicrous to pretend the BBC is full of racists," Phillips says in an interview in Tribune, the leftwing weekly. "But what the BBC regards as a person who will fit in, somehow mysteriously will generally not be black or Asian," he said.

His implication that the BBC is institutionally racist angered senior executives, although three years ago Dyke himself described BBC as "hideously white".

A corporation spokesperson said: "Trevor Phillips is wrong. We are not struggling to meet the seven or eight per cent. We are very confident, in fact, that we have met a target of 10 per cent set three years ago. We understand the regional differences in the population and intend to reflect this in future plans."

Phillips says in the interview: "It has not been helpful to suggest these things come out of a sort of deep-seated well of unconscious racism. One individual assessment can seem rational. The problem is that, when they are all added together, they produce a racist outcome."

First Published: Jan 28, 2004 17:21 IST