The Labour Party recently announced plans for a female joint deputy leader. Although the plans were ditched, the BBC canvassed Labour Party members over who they’d like to see as a female Labour leader.
So far, so good. Not so good was the fact that it needed a gimmick. Even worse was that the gimmick involved cupcakes. Yes, cupcakes. And not only did the BBC decide to represent strong women through the medium of cupcakes, but it only included white women.
The BBC chose the wrong women to ask, however, as they immediately pointed out the lack of diversity in the BBC‘s baking products. And they asked why they couldn’t choose Diane Abbott or Dawn Butler.
Co-founder of Novara Media Aaron Bastani highlighted the issue:
— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) September 25, 2018
However, Politics Live presenter Elizabeth Glinka claimed that the choices were made based on odds from bookies:
— Elizabeth Glinka (@ElizabethGlinka) September 25, 2018
Although Bastani said in response that he was joking, many people still thought it was an issue:
Wait a minute you are telling me that @BBC only made white female cupcakes and then spoke to BAME @UKLabour activists who went for @HackneyAbbott and none where available? This is truly shocking and infact vile in it nature. #racistcupcakes #Lab18 ?
— Michael Thawe (@Michael_Thawe) September 25, 2018
‘Cupcakes don’t have to be vanilla!’: Two young women point out glaring flaw in BBC ‘survey’ on potential female Labour leader https://t.co/LgGdWzO335
— BlackBritishBulletin (@BlackBritish_B) September 26, 2018
BBC Politics Live offering cupcakes with female candidates faces on. Went to Momentum stand.yeah they pointed out no BAME candidate offered. BBC embarrassed!! Rightly so
— Dave Putson (@Joocypeach) September 25, 2018
But it wasn’t just the lack of representation of Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women that was a problem. As people pointed out, there were issues with the whole presentation of the segment:
#politicslive Choose next leader of the labour party using cupcakes! Patronising or just bbc dumbing down!
— Rascally (@blobbypal) September 25, 2018
In the 2017 general election, a record number of women were elected. But this only took female representation in parliament to 32%, so there’s a long way to go before women have a fair and equal voice in our government.
Meanwhile, diversity is an even bigger problem. Again, 2017 saw record numbers of BAME candidates elected. But that still took the total to a mere 52 MPs.
These are serious issues. The BBC using cupcakes to represent female candidates is not a bit of fun. It’s patronising, sexist rubbish. And while it may have a defence in using the bookies’ favourites in choosing whose images it placed on the cupcakes, the fact that it didn’t even think about diverse representation speaks volumes.
– Support The Canary if you appreciate the work we do.
Featured image via YouTube
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?