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Racism rife on radio

Sanjeev Bhaskar

One of Britain’s leading Asian comedy actors has described the radio industry as being ‘rife with racist attitudes’.

Sanjeev Bhaskar star of the hit show The Kumars spoke out complaining that he was only offered Asian roles in radio drama productions.

“In radio dramas, I think the only times I’ve ever been approached are to play Asian characters. And that just really, really surprises me – no it shocks me,” Bhaskar told Radio 4.

“It just shows an utter lack of imagination. I’ve been sent Asian parts that didn’t even require an accent, so speaking in the way that I’m speaking now.”

OBV has previously campaigned on this issue in relation to the lack of black radio presenters and newspaper columnists.

Bhaskar’s comment confirmed a widely held view that black professionals continue to face unacceptable barriers and gross stereotyping within the media industries.

Levels of black representation are still remarkably low and much more needs to be done to reflect the diversity of modern Britain.

If talented and successful comedians like Bhaskar still believe that racism is rife then the challenge for the radio industry is to raise its game and ensure the diversity of black talent is no longer locked out of opportunity.

One Response

  1. Congatulations to Sanjeev Bhaskar for being brave in today’s Britain and using his position positively to highlight this problem. British born non white citizens should also be clear as to where their loyalties lay. If that problem isn’t dealt with sooner, BME’s will always be linked to their racial back grounds, and never be accepted as full citizens of this country.

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