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Some People Are Upset There Weren't Any White Presenters On Radio 4's "Today" Programme

Well, this was inevitable.

Posted on

Henry decided to make ethnic diversity the theme of today's show.

How diverse is Britain? Here are 5 facts for today's programme, guest edited by @LennyHenry #r4today

BBC Radio 4 Today@BBCr4todayFollow

How diverse is Britain?

Here are 5 facts for today's programme, guest edited by @LennyHenry #r4today

8:08 AM - 30 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

According to the programme's running order:

Lenny Henry has asked that this morning's edition of the Today Programme be presented entirely by black and ethnic minority staff and all of his items have exclusively featured black and minority ethnic contributors. He believes there is not enough ethnic diversity on television and the media, and that positive discrimination is needed to redress this balance.

Here's the presenting lineup from this morning's #r4today

Jamie Angus@grvlx001Follow

Here's the presenting lineup from this morning's #r4today

10:39 AM - 30 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Among other features, there was:

The culture secretary, Sajid Javid, talking about diversity in the media.

Diane Abbott talking about becoming one of Britain's first black MPs.

– An interview with Savile Row's first black tailor.

A round-table discussion about the black literary canon.

And sure enough, people were soon complaining...

BBC "today" programme being produced by Lenny Henry and using only ethic minority presenters. Isn't that a tad .... Racist?

A Man out of time@DVATWFollow

BBC "today" programme being produced by Lenny Henry and using only ethic minority presenters. Isn't that a tad .... Racist?

7:30 AM - 30 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

...saying Henry was a racist...

@BBCr4today I've only ever seen Lenny Henry as a great comedian, today he has shown himself to be a racist activist creating disharmony.

Exposing BBC bias@MGPB1936Follow

@BBCr4today
I've only ever seen Lenny Henry as a great comedian, today he has shown himself to be a racist activist creating disharmony.

8:51 AM - 30 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

...and saying people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds don't even want to work in the media...

@Johnwbh @timsquirrell those stats mostly show minorities don't WANT better representation. Or is being a doc easier than joining the cops?

Misha Gurevich, PHD@drethelinFollow

@Johnwbh @timsquirrell those stats mostly show minorities don't WANT better representation. Or is being a doc easier than joining the cops?

9:25 AM - 30 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

...and saying Henry was a racist again...

@rchak100 the irony is that Henry uses racism to highlight racism. Why does BBC define people by race? There's only one race, the human race

The Boy Butler@theboybutlerFollow

@rchak100 the irony is that Henry uses racism to highlight racism. Why does BBC define people by race? There's only one race, the human race

7:54 AM - 30 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

...and again...

If BBC promoted White supremist views, there would be screams of 'racist'. Lenny Henry does it re Black. So? ... http://t.co/bKc2JPHgEq

cuzzinharry@cuzzinharryFollow

If BBC promoted White supremist views, there would be screams of 'racist'. Lenny Henry does it re Black. So? ... http://t.co/bKc2JPHgEq

8:27 AM - 30 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

...and trying to do satire...

Next up on @bbcR4today. Not enough Zulus play viola in the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra . Lenny Henry tells us why YOU'RE to blame, you racist

Old Holborn@HolbornlolzFollow

Next up on @bbcR4today. Not enough Zulus play viola in the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra . Lenny Henry tells us why YOU'RE to blame, you racist

6:46 AM - 30 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

...throughout the show's duration.

I'm pitching an idea to @BBCr4today: we listen to this man having a bollard gradually inserted into him for 3 hours

Michael Deacon@MichaelPDeaconFollow

I'm pitching an idea to @BBCr4today: we listen to this man having a bollard gradually inserted into him for 3 hours

9:25 AM - 30 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Evidently the answer to the question below is, in their view, "yes".

Sad that Lenny Henry's #r4today editing gets so much flak from white tweeters. Is one programme/year on lack of diversity in media too much?

Shelf@dixewillsFollow

Sad that Lenny Henry's #r4today editing gets so much flak from white tweeters. Is one programme/year on lack of diversity in media too much?

8:37 AM - 30 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

That said, there were plenty of people who liked the show.

@BBCr4today @LennyHenry refreshing programme

#radio4today nice work lenny henry not divisive just fair and timely talking race

Victor Adebowale@Voa1234Follow

#radio4today nice work lenny henry not divisive just fair and timely talking race

8:57 AM - 30 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

.@LennyHenry making great case on radio now. #r4today this morning great for undermining the stereotype of the "BME voice".

mary beard@wmarybeardFollow

.@LennyHenry making great case on radio now. #r4today this morning great for undermining the stereotype of the "BME voice".

8:55 AM - 30 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

  1. What did you think of Lenny Henry's Today programme?

    I liked it – it was nice to have some diversity on the show for a change.
    I hated it – it's wrong to choose guests and presenters by the colour of their skin.
    I didn't listen to it but it sounds terrible.
    I didn't listen to it but it sounds great.
    LOL at people listening to Radio 4 in 2014.

Some People Are Upset There Weren't Any White Presenters On Radio 4's "Today" Programme

Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.
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What did you think of Lenny Henry's Today programme?
  1.  
    vote votes
    I liked it – it was nice to have some diversity on the show for a change.
  2.  
    vote votes
    I hated it – it's wrong to choose guests and presenters by the colour of their skin.
  3.  
    vote votes
    I didn't listen to it but it sounds terrible.
  4.  
    vote votes
    I didn't listen to it but it sounds great.
  5.  
    vote votes
    LOL at people listening to Radio 4 in 2014.

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Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Alan White at alan.white@buzzfeed.com.

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