Channel 4 has confirmed that on Friday 10 September it will disrupt its normal broadcasting schedule to launch what it has dubbed the ‘Black to Front takeover’ which will see all content performed exclusively by black people.
Announcing its intention to conduct a Black takeover day last year, the broadcaster paid tribute to George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests and outlined its commitment to increase Black representation on television.
The broadcaster said: “Channel 4’s whole schedule will go Black for a day to amplify the conversations around representation and diversity, starting with a one-off special The Big Breakfast fronted by Mo Gilligan, and followed by some of Channel 4’s biggest flagship shows hosted by Black talent, including Celebrity Gogglebox, Countdown and Channel 4 News, with an all-Black presenting and reporting team.
“Hollyoaks will be an hour-long special entirely written, directed and performed by its Black talent.”
One of the broadcaster’s factual entertainment commissioners Vivienne Molokwu added: “The true reality is that when you turn on British television, you’d be hard pressed to see for a few hours, let alone the whole day, only Black faces anywhere.” Probably because Black ethnic groups make up just 3 per cent of the UK demographic…
It does not appear that other ethnic minority groups are to be included in the Channel’s takeover day and its white presenters and actors are presumably having the day off.
“Some forms of racism are totally acceptable,” tweeted Reclaim Party leader Laurence Fox in response to the news.
It hasn’t gone down well with everyone in the Black community either, with presenter London Hughes slamming the broadcaster for “performative tokenism” adding: “The talented black people who will be chosen for this ‘black to front’ day will know that’s it’s not to do with their talent, but with a quota… or a tick box.”