The BBC and other U.K. companies appear to be distancing themselves from the Black Lives Matter movement.
For instance, officials at BBC have reportedly told their reporters not to wear BLM badges.
“The BBC cannot be seen to support any kind of cause over another, and Black Lives Matter is certainly a campaign,” an anonymous senior source at the BBC told The Daily Telegraph.
“Therefore we wouldn’t want anyone on-screen to be wearing visual symbols of support. Our presenters and guests can discuss Black Lives Matter, and we’ve reported on it in depth. We’re not impartial about racism. But wearing badges on screen — as with any other campaign — would be a step too far.”
A BBC spokesperson from told The Independent that there’s been no change of policy at the network.
“It is long established that BBC broadcasters and journalists don’t tend to wear campaign insignia and badges, and absolutely nothing about that principle has changed,” the spokesperson said.
Other organizations in the UK have also begun to distance themselves from the BLM movement.
Despite issuing a lengthy statement expressing solidarity with the “moral cause and campaign” that is Black Lives Matter, Sky Sports started allowing its pundits to decide whether or not to wear BLM badges ahead of the network’s Tuesday night soccer coverage, according to the Daily Mail.
Notably, commentators Patrice Evra, Jamie Redknapp and Gary Neville all decided to ditch their badges, the outlet reported.
Meanwhile, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters attempted to make a “clear distinction between a moral cause and a political movement or agenda.”
“Whilst there might be difficulties sometimes dividing the two, our position is clear: Politics no, moral causes yes, when agreed. As I said we’re living in special times at the moment,” Masters said this week during a hearing before Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee
The U.K. arm of Black Lives Matter has come under fire for its recent call to “FREE PALESTINE,” along with its suggestion that “mainstream British politics is gagged” when it comes to debating the Israel-Palestine issue.
As Israel moves forward with the annexation of the West Bank, and mainstream British politics is gagged of the right to critique Zionism, and Israel’s settler colonial pursuits, we loudly and clearly stand beside our Palestinian comrades.
— #BlackLivesMatterUK (@ukblm) June 28, 2020
Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, criticized BLM U.K.’s stance in an interview with Jewish News, saying it was “beyond disappointing” that a “supposedly anti-racist organization has leaned into the antisemitic trope that British politics is ‘gagged’ in terms of debating Israel, a claim particularly preposterous because Israel is one of the most-discussed foreign policy issues in this country.”
In the U.S., Black Lives Matters leaders have never been particularly shy about expressing the group’s political goals.
In a 2015 interview, BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors identified herself and fellow co-founder Alicia Garza as “trained Marxists.”
“We actually do have an ideological frame,” Cullors said. “Myself and Alicia, in particular, are trained organizers.
“We are trained Marxists. We are super versed on ideological theories and I think that what we really try to do is build a movement that could be utilized by many, many black folk.”
And on June 24, the president of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, Hawk Newsome, told Fox News indicated the group intends to “burn down this system.”
“I said if this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it. All right?” Newsome said.
“And I could be speaking figuratively, I could be speaking literally. It’s a matter of interpretation.”
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