8 Oct 2016

Feminist BBC Sacked Jon Holmes For Being A White Man… Even Though He Works In Radio. To Make Way For ‘More Women And Diversity’...

The BAFTA award-winning Now Show comic (47) was told he was being axed from the show (on which he’s worked for the past 19 years) to make way for ‘more women and diversity’
By Chris Hastings and Jonathan Petre: The BBC was at the centre of a damaging diversity row last night after one of its top radio stars was sacked for being 'white and male'.
Bafta award-winning comedian Jon Holmes was axed from The Now Show – the hit Radio 4 programme he has appeared on for 18 years – when bosses told him 'we're recasting it with more women and diversity'.
Last night, leading figures from the world of entertainment and across the political spectrum reacted with fury to the BBC instigating a policy in which it was now choosing performers based on their gender or skin colour, instead of their talent.
Mr Holmes revealed that since his sacking he has heard from other stars who have been rejected by broadcasting bosses because of 'positive discrimination'.
He told how one woman presenter was given a job only later to be told 'we can't have you, because you are too white and middle class'.
Another performer was considered 'perfect' for a role but could not be employed because bosses had been told to cast someone Asian, he said.
In an article for The Mail on Sunday, below, Mr Holmes said he accepted the need for diversity but asked: 'Should I, as a white man (through no fault of my own), be fired from my job because I am a white man?'
Damningly for the BBC, he revealed that even bosses responsible for setting up the Corporation's diversity policies had got in touch with him to say that political correctness 'had all got out of hand'.

One executive admitted: 'It was never about sacking people who already do the job and simply replacing them to tick a box.'
Reacting to the toxic revelations, racial equality campaigner Trevor Phillips said the removal of Mr Holmes to make way for minority performers showed the BBC 'don't believe black or Asian people are as good as white people'.
And actress Maureen Lipman, meanwhile, called for the sacking of the executive responsible for Mr Holmes's removal.
Tory MP Conor Burns blamed the BBC's idea of diversity on its 'Notting Hill-set world view' and said it was 'ironic' the row came in the same week ex-Labour Cabinet Minister James Purnell was given the job of Director of Radio, despite being 'another middle class white man'.
Mr Holmes has been a writer and performer on The Now Show since it was first broadcast in 1997. The programme, with a weekly audience of two million, is presented by Outnumbered's Hugh Dennis with his comedy partner Steve Punt.
Mr Holmes, 47, was left stunned by the phone call a few days ago from a female producer who told him in an 'awkward conversation' that he was being sacked. He said: 'She said, 'I'm afraid for the next series we are not inviting you back'.'
He later revealed his sacking in a tweet in which he joked: 'And I didn't even punch a producer,' a reference to the reason behind Jeremy Clarkson's sacking by the BBC from Top Gear.
Holmes's axing follows the BBC's April announcement of new diversity targets to ensure that women will make up half of its staff by 2020, including on screen, on air and in leadership roles. The Corporation is also aiming to increase the proportion of its workforce from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to 15 per cent by the same date, while lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people should by then make up eight per cent of the staff.
But Mr Phillips – former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission – branded the decision to drop Mr Holmes on the grounds of positive discrimination 'idiotic'.

He said: 'They are misunderstanding what the point of the diversity drive was about. This sounds like somebody who is basically climbing their way up the greasy ladder and they think hiring black and Asian talent is part of what they have got to do to look good. 
'But they don't genuinely believe black or Asian people are as good as white people.'
Ms Lipman added: 'We are talking about someone who has done some of the best work on radio. It sounds unbelievable but if someone has sacked him for not doing anything wrong, they should be sacked for being crass. 
'If diversity really is an issue, than perhaps someone could be appointed to work alongside Jon and learn his skills.' 
Mr Holmes has won two Baftas, eight Sony awards and two British Comedy awards. He co-created Radio 4's Dead Ringers, which later transferred to BBC Two, and has been a co-writer of the Horrible Histories series for BBC One.
Leading gay activist and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was also against the decision to sack the star. He said: 'Perhaps rather than giving Jon the boot, the BBC could reduce his input and give some of his slots to women and black comedians. That would satisfy everybody.'
The BBC has been at the centre of 'diversity' rows in the past. In 2001, its then director-general Greg Dyke provoked a storm for declaring the Corporation was 'hideously white'.
Ten years later, former BBC presenter Miriam O'Reilly won a case for age discrimination against the Corporation after she was dropped from BBC One's rural affairs show, Countryfile.
In 2014, then director of BBC Television Danny Cohen said the Corporation could no longer accept all-male panels on comedy series.
Since the edict, there has almost invariably been a woman comedian on shows such as Have I Got News For You, QI and Mock The Week.
A BBC spokesperson said the decision not to offer new contracts to two of The Now Show regulars was a creative one, adding: 'While the Government's new charter for the BBC does require us to reflect the UK, we always hire presenters on merit.
'We’d like to thank both Jon Holmes and Mitch Benn for their contributions, but - as we explained almost a week ago when the story first appeared in newspapers - our comedy shows are constantly evolving and it was simply time to create opportunities for new regulars when The Now Show returns this autumn.'
You're too middle class, my colleague was told, by JON HOLMES, former star of The Now Show

This week, I took a phone call. 'Jon,' said the BBC's Head of Awkward Conversations, 'That show you do on Radio 4? The Now Show?'
'Yes,' I said, tentatively, because phone calls like this never end well.
'It's back on air in November.'
I already knew this, because I had been asked to block it out in my diary at the end of the last series. But now I was Having. An. Awkward. Conversation.
'I'll get straight to the point,' she continued. 'I'm afraid for the next series, we're not inviting you back. We're recasting it with more women and diversity.'
And just like that, after 18 years on the long-running show, I was out.
And that's fair enough. I'm not here to complain about it. Eighteen years is a pretty good innings.
And what's more, I totally understand and agree with all things BAME [Black Asian and minority ethnic] and Lenny Henry and Ofcom boss Sharon White's call last week for 'harder quotas and diversity targets', so this isn't a sour grapes piece by any means at all. The BBC does a difficult job well under all kinds of pressures, and I get that it struggles to reflect everything that Lenny and the Guardian hold dear.
Indeed, we are a multicultural society and all voices should, rightly, be represented, even on Radio 4, where a discussion of a 'Black Man's Willy' on Gardeners' Question Time drew complaints. (It's a type of plant. Google it. Although if you do, for God's sake have safe search switched on.)
Diversity is important. Of course it is. We know it is. That's beyond argument. A quick sample of 2016 newspaper headlines reads thus:
Oscars in Diversity Race Row; Diversity Crisis in British Military; Baftas in Diversity Race Row; Diversity Crisis in Football; Brit Awards in Diversity Race Row; 2009 Britain's Got Talent Winners Diversity Announce New Tour.
… all of which proves that more needs to be done.
And yet. I'm going to pose a question. Deep breath. OK. It's this: are we getting it right?
Should I, as a white man (through no fault of my own), be fired from my job because I am a white man? Arguably, yes. You may well think I'm c**p on The Now Show, and that's fine, but to be told it's because I'm the wrong sex and colour? I'm just not sure that's helpful to anyone's cause.
I realise I'm probably jabbing an ill-judged pointy stick into a diversity wasps' nest here but, what with all the recent column inches on the subject, maybe it's time to open up the debate – and, in all honesty, not just because I'm on the receiving end.
Truthfully, I was happy to just suck up the bad news. It's never nice to be sacked, whatever the reason but, hey, that's showbiz.
But, after I tweeted the news, I was contacted privately (quietly and off the record, because people are terrified of saying the wrong thing) by many presenters, actors and even agents who are now being told, and I quote: 'We love your client. He's perfect for the role. But we're not allowed to even invite him in for a meeting because we've been told to cast someone Asian.'

'You've got the job,' a presenter was informed, only for her to take a call a few days later saying: 'Ah. While we want you on the show, we've now been told we can't have you, because you are too white and middle class.'

Look. I reiterate: it's fine. We all agree that representing our wonderfully multicultural society is important. 'Crucial', even, to hijack one of Lenny's catchphrases from the 1980s.
But, having heard so many stories, I decided (against my agent's better judgment) that maybe someone should stick their head above the parapet to ask: 'Can we do this better?'
If we are now openly giving jobs to people based on the colour of their skin, surely that is only emphasising just the kind of social division that the equality that I was brought up to embrace strives to eliminate?
So what if – and I know this is radical – but what if everything and every job in all walks of life was open to everyone equally, and we all just agree that everyone's the same, by which I mean – you know – 'human'?

What if just the best human got the job, irrespective of anything? Could we not all agree we're all just humans with our hopes, dreams, flaws, beliefs, differences and cultures all wrapped up in a parcel marked 'people'? Is that so offensive? I mean, I know it's a big ask and yes we'll have to agree to draw a line under much that has gone on before, but what if we're all just 'people', judged on merit?
Call me crazy but what if, regardless of skin colour, or anything else, the best candidate gets the job?
I'm not even asking for mine back. That's not the point. I just wonder, what with all the pressure about being seen to 'get it right', we're actually getting it a bit wrong.
The term 'positive discrimination' is bandied around, but I'm not sure that anything that discriminates is that positive really, because it's, well, discrimination. I don't think that discrimination of any kind is ever positive, however well intentioned everyone thinks they are, because someone is always going to lose out based on something they can't help.
I love the BBC and everyone I've ever met and worked with – whatever their sex, creed or colour – is doing the best they can and just trying to get on and do the right thing. But even they are all privately saying it's all got a bit out of hand.
Personally I want equal opportunities for all, irrespective of who or what they are. So maybe we should open up the debate.
A good friend, a mentor even, who works in broadcasting (female, Jewish) was some years ago responsible for setting up the BBC's diversity programme. She took me aside last week, [damage control] on hearing my news.
'I'm so sorry,' she said. 'We just wanted to represent everyone fairly. It was never about sacking people who already do the job and simply replacing them to tick a box. This isn't what we meant to happen at all.'

Edited by AA

1 comment:

  1. Utterly oxy-moronic ‘Feminist BBC’s’ ‘positive discrimination’. Since the effect of the MHRM has been at the very least to convince the overwhelming majority of the UK population to reject the title feminist, the corporation is doubly culpable for its failure, nay its active mutiny against its own charter, as they openly exude a culture that is both misandric [a rejection of nearly half the UK population] and feminist [a rejection of the egalitarian views of the overwhelming majority]. Placating faux apologies via our Jewish controllers aside, the practical reality of at least the last 40 years or more of the Zio-controlled BBC has been an active barefaced division of the population along sexual and racial lines, creating a Willie Lynch style categorization of the people with men and boys at the bottom of the pile and the most minority women and girls, cowering, yet at the top of the heap, stifling the wholesome idea of a true renaissance towards egalitarianism. In place of actual equal treatment and at the very least proportional endorsement of the strong happy family, we have cultural Marxism to break, divide and rule us all.