BBC Under Fire Over Woke Privilege Test

By Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou is a freelance writer mostly covering UK news for The Epoch Times.
September 8, 2021 Updated: September 8, 2021

The BBC has come under criticism over a privilege test it offers as part of its diversity training.

A former cabinet minister ridiculed the test—dubbed “The Ally Track”—as “either nonsense or worse,” and said the view it preaches does not ring true for the BBC’s audiences.

Those who take the test are asked to answer 20 questions about a “player” they create. At the end of the test, it’s revealed where the players are at the race track of life based on the answers provided.

If a healthy white male earns a salary that can cover his basic living cost, has university-educated parents who can cover their own bills, has never felt ashamed for or discriminated against because of his religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, is comfortable practicing his religion and express his sexuality in work, has never been the only person of his race in a room at work or had anyone making assumptions about his religion based on his ethnicity or ability to perform a task based on a disability, and has leadership role models like him to aspire to at work, he is considered to be the at the first place on the starting line in life.

The test—free for organisations and the general public to use—was developed by the BBC Academy, in association with diversity think tank the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative as part of the “BBC Creative Allies” programme launched in November last year in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests that engulfed major Western cities for months.

Sir John Hayes, a former minister and chairman of the Common Sense Group of Conservative MPs, told The Telegraph that the BBC needs to wake up.

“Most will regard this as either nonsense or worse,” he said.

“Unless the BBC wakes up and smells the coffee and realises its distorted view of privilege is not shared by their viewers and listeners, then its status in the eyes of the public will continue to plummet,” he added.

A spokesperson for the BBC defended the test, saying it doesn’t cost public money.

“This basic online tool, launched last November, was created in-house, so cost next to nothing,” the spokesperson said in a statement emailed to The Epoch Times.

“It simply highlights the obstacles people can face because of their background and has been used by organisations across business, media, fashion, and the arts,” the statement reads.

But campaign group TaxPayers’ Alliance said the defence is invalid.

“The BBC’s defence that this was done in house doesn’t hold water. They should not be paying for these pointless, progressive procrastinations, even if done with their own staff,” Digital Campaign Manager Joe Ventre told The Telegraph.

Fran Unsworth, the BBC’s news and current affairs director, announced on Tuesday that she will leave the corporation after working there for more than 40 years. Unsworth was reportedly involved in an internal row over the proposed appointment of Jess Brammar as the BBC’s new head of news.

Opponents to the personnel choice said that Brammar’s appointment would compromise the public broadcaster’s responsibility to remain impartial, given her history of overtly left-wing social media posts.

Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou is a freelance writer mostly covering UK news for The Epoch Times.