Recently Wiley has been called out and in essence 'cancelled' for rants and tweets that have been deemed anti-Semitic by many. This has resulted in his social media presence being terminated almost over night, and even had number 10 officials claiming that social media organisations need to "go much further and faster in removing hateful content" the controversy has even sparked 700 celebrities to come forward to tackle the said hate, by signing a letter with the intent to end hatred and division within the music industry.
Rita Ora, James Blunt, Jess Glynne, Niall Horan, Nao, Clean Bandit, Little Mix, Lewis Capaldi, Labrinth, Naughty Boy, Chic star Nile Rodgers and The 1975 are among those disgusted by the star’s online tirades, to which the group responded to the grime artist by saying. "We, representatives from the music industry, write to demonstrate and express our determination that love, unity and friendship, not division and hatred must and will always be our common cause." “We are at our worst when we attack each other. Minorities from all backgrounds and faiths have struggled and suffered. From slavery, mass genocide and the Holocaust, we have painful collective memories."
One question is why has there been such a strong response to this? Is it due to who the group is that has been called out by the musician feeling disrespected? As when similar actions occur to other groups including the one Wiley would be apart of which is the black community. There is often little to no repercussions and the individual(s) affected are either told to get over it or their voices are quickly silenced.
Recently the BBC had two issues of a racial slur being used by two Caucasian female presenters on air, the first being by Fiona Lamdin who while narrating a pre-recorded segment in the racially motivated attack in Bristol, would repeat what was said to the victim as his attackers sped off “Because as the men ran away, they hurled racial abuse, calling him a n*****.” The use of the slur censored or uncensored was deemed totally unnecessary. When responding to the backlash the media giants response was “A warning was given before this was reported. We are no longer running this version of the report but are continuing to pursue the story.”
Their second incident of racial insensitivity came on the 1st August 2020 less than a week after their first, this time it was Lucy Worsley who was conducting a piece on the US biggest fibs, which covered the US confederacy and the history of slavery, which aired on BBC 2. When discussing the details of Abraham Lincoln's speech in 1865, she would read out John Wilkes Booth response who would later go on to assassinate the president in which she read “He said, and his words carry a health warning, ‘That means n****r citizenship. By God, that’s the last speech he will ever make’.” The clip first reared its head on BBC 4 in they year of 2019, this would also receive backlash on social media due to the uncensored used of the racist term. So once again rather than issue an apology and learn from the transgression the BBC responded to the negative feedback by stating “Content information about the nature of the film was given before the programme started, and presenter Lucy Worsley gave a clear warning to the audience before quoting John Wilkes Booth as the term clearly has the potential to cause offence.”
So as far as the BBC are concerned if they warn you beforehand then use a racist word on air it makes everything ok.
So should all groups be treated the same when they feel offended? Should the BBC and their presenters receive some form of punishment? Or is a case one rule for some and another rule for others?
But let me know your thoughts below and remember to keep the same energy.
#The Fight Continues