Producers of the BBC’s Gary Barlow jubilee documentary have made it clear that the corporation is seeking entirely one-sided celebratory coverage of the jubilee, in emails leaked to Republic.
The BBC only this week has denied accusations from Republic that it is seeking to promote and celebrate the monarchy, rather than provide balanced coverage.
Yet the leaked email makes clear that no dissenting voices against the Queen will be allowed in the programme.
The email says the producers are “hoping to speak with people … who have a respect for the Queen” and that “we are not interested in hearing a personal bad word against the Queen.”
The email exchange goes on to say that the documentary is “to celebrate her reign” and makes it quite clear that the project is entirely pro-monarchy.
The producers even make the extraordinary stipulation that they would speak to a republican but only if they are “willing to talk about the Queen herself positively”.
The programme features Gary Barlow speaking to people around the Commonwealth about the Queen. Most Commonwealth countries are republics and many of those that aren’t are actively discussing ditching the monarchy.
Republic chief executive Graham Smith responded to the leaked emails:
“While the BBC claim in public to be impartial and furiously deny any accusations of bias they are privately doing all they can to produce pro-monarchy propaganda in support of the jubilee.”
“This is a disgraceful admission from the producers of a BBC documentary that they are clearly intent on excluding dissenting voices. In making a programme for the UK audience they want to ensure no bad word is said about the Queen.”
“This is nothing more than censorship and is completely unacceptable. Their excuse that this is not a political documentary is not a get out clause that releases them of their obligations to be impartial.”
“For years the BBC has been promising that balance will be achieved ‘over time’ yet we’re still waiting for that to happen. These emails only show the BBC’s commitment to promoting the monarchy is getting worse, not better.”
The emails can be viewed at www.republic.org.uk/bbcemails.pdf
Posted on: 24 Feb 2012