BBC responds to reports staff told ‘not to wear Black Lives Matter badges on screen’

Reports say that the BBC has banned ‘visual symbols of support’ for the movement

Isobel Lewis
Thursday 02 July 2020 10:40 BST
Keir Starmer says it’s 'nonsense' to call to ‘defund the police’ over black lives 'moment'

The BBC has responded to a report stating that they have banned “visual symbols of support” for the Black Lives Matter movement from being worn on screen.

As reported by The Daily Telegraph, presenters and guests on BBC TV programmes have been told not to wear Black Lives Matter badges after critics suggested that the campaign had been “hijacked”.

A senior source told the publication: “The BBC cannot be seen to support any kind of cause over another, and Black Lives Matter is certainly a campaign. 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.”

In response, a BBC spokesperson told The Independent: “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 UK branch of BLM came under fire from some critics this week for echoing US calls to “defund the police” in Britain and criticising Israel.

In response, BT and Sky have given their football commentators the choice to wear the badge or not, with Jamie Redknapp and Patrice Evra appearing to have dropped the symbol while appearing on Sky Sports on Tuesday.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters told a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee session: “We are drawing 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.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in