05 January 2010
Sexist ageism and the feeble BBC
Harriet Harman, UK Equalities Minister, warned that ageism within the BBC is annoying its TV viewers.
She said that a former senior BBC executive told her: “The way we saw it was that as male presenters got older they become an authority and as female presenters got older they became a problem.”
If this is true, I am not surprised. I suspect that a proportion of society (male and female) harbours inbuilt – often hidden – sexist judgements and preferences. These people may not even realise it.
But does this mean that the BBC has to pander to this flawed thinking? There is no reason why the BBC can’t instate more older women as role models and influence the opinions and prejudices of the masses. As a corporation funded by the public, it has the power to inspire and a responsibility for integrity. The BBC should drive change, not be a slave to bigotry.