half of UK viewers think minorities are over-represented on TV – poll


British television shows a disproportionate number of ethnic and sexual minorities, respondents told YouGov

Ethnic minorities and members of the LGBT community are over-represented on television, according to nearly half of viewers surveyed by YouGov. The poll comes amid a deliberate push for “diversity” among advertisers.

Some 45% of British viewers said there are more ethnic minorities on television than in the population, according to a poll summary published by The Times on Tuesday. Only 26% felt that ethnic minorities were underrepresented.

A similar figure, 44%, said gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are over-represented on the small screen.

YouGov conducted the same poll in France, Italy, Spain, Chile, the United Arab Emirates and Australia, and found that viewers in all of these other countries were more likely to say that both groups were underrepresented.

On Internet forums, social media platforms and online comment sections, viewers have long complained about the seemingly disproportionate airtime given to minorities, especially since the “woke” ideology has entered the cultural mainstream over the past decade. While there is little authoritative research to support or refute these claims, a number of studies suggest that TV demographics may not represent reality.

A 2017 survey of 500 companies found that marketing departments were so concerned about accusations of racism or homophobia that they used fewer heterosexual, white models and actors in their ads. One-third of these companies said they had employed fewer whites and heterosexuals in the past year, and one-third of this number said they had done so to “preventing perceived discrimination.”

A study by the Campaign for Common Sense last year noted that ‘The Responder’, a BBC production, portrayed nearly half of Merseyside police as black or Asian, despite both groups representing less than 1% of police officers combined. make up the police. . The study found the same problem with several other BBC series and blamed the state broadcaster for it “warping modern Britain.”

Black people make up about 3% of the UK population, Asians (a term that includes Middle Eastern in the UK) make up 7%, while LGBT people make up less than 4%. However, a 2022 survey by the Campaign for Common Sense found that British people believe that 20% of the population is black, 17% Asian and 30% LGBT. The organization identified “a disproportionate representation of minority groups in the media” as a factor that could explain this discrepancy.

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