BBC appears to breach its own racism rules with Dad's Army episode

BBC appears to breach its own racism rules with Dad's Army episode

BBC ignores its own discrimination rules by broadcasting Dad’s Army episode featuring offensive word for Asian people

  • No discriminatory wording warning was posted ahead of a Dad’s Army episode
  • The 1974 radio special included the word ‘ch**k’ twice without any warning
  • Last week a ‘discriminatory language’ warning was on 1971 Dad’s Army episode
  • Broadcaster previously said: ‘Use of racist language will always be signposted’

The BBC forgot to follows its own discrimination guidance when an episode of Dad’s Army twice included the word ‘ch**k’, it had been revealed.

No warning was posted ahead of use of the word, which is considered offensive to Asian people, despite the broadcaster’s strict rules around racist vocabulary.

A 1974 radio special Present Arms, featuring cast members from the TV hit, was aired on Radio 4 Extra and later posted to BBC Sounds without any warning it included offensive language, The Mirror revealed. 

A source said: ‘It’s baffling the BBC have let this get through without an edit. 

‘Especially so after the alert before the Dad’s Army movie for words that could be deemed less offensive.’

No warning was posted ahead of use of the word, which is offensive to Asian people, despite the broadcaster’s strict rules around racist vocabulary. Pictured, a warning posted to a 1971 Dad’s Army film last week

Last week the BBC slapped a ‘discriminatory language’ warning on the 1971 Dad’s Army film, prompting outraged fans to call for the corporation to ‘stop making issues when there aren’t any’.  

The broadcaster said the warning ‘has nothing to do with the general content of #DadsArmy, which is a British TV classic,’ but said the film ‘includes a specific racially derogatory phrase’.

The warning referred to the archaic term ‘fuzzy-wuzzies’, used by British soldiers to describe people from the Sudan. 

The broadcaster said the warning had, ‘has nothing to do with the general content of #DadsArmy, which is a British TV classic,’ but said the film, ‘includes a specific racially derogatory phrase’

A 1974 radio special Present Arms, featuring cast members from the TV hit, was aired on Radio 4 Extra and later posted to BBC Sounds without any warning it included offensive language, The Mirror revealed. Pictured, John Le Mesurier as Sergeant Wilson in Dad’s Army

In the film, Clive Dunn’s character Lance Corporal Jones Jones’s uses the term ‘fuzzy-wuzzies’, to describe the enemies he fought in the Sudan under General Kitchener. 

The BBC issued a warning before it aired saying parts of the classic could cause offense. 

But just days later the word ‘ch**k’ was played twice without any warning. In Present Arms, Charlie Cheeseman, played by Jack Watson, said: ‘So the air raid warden shouted out, “Here, missus, you’ve got a ch**k in your bedroom”.’ 

BBC compliance and editorial standards may have been breached, as the broadcaster said: ‘Premeditated use of racist language will always be signposted whether on TV, radio or online/digital. It is important audiences are not taken by surprise.’

The episode has since been taken down and a spokesman said: ‘We review archive programmes ahead of broadcast. This episode went out on 4 Extra last month with a warning about the language on air and the online ­version is no longer available.’

Dad’s Army ran for 80 episodes over nine series between 1968 and 1977.

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