BBC One gets 500 complaints over Black Lives Matter in New Year’s fireworks

The BBC has revealed 500 complaints about its New Year’s fireworks.

The annual New Year midnight celebration, created and organised by The Greater London Authority and broadcast on BBC One, featured references to significant moments from 2020 including the Black Lives Matter movement.

Using a mixture of fireworks and drone light displays, the celebration also paid tribute to NHS workers and Captain Tom Moore and poked fun at Zoom meetings.

In it’s latest complaints report, the BBC shared it had received 500 objections from people who were “unhappy the New Year fireworks display referenced ‘Black Lives Matter’.”

In its response to complainants, the BBC said: “We note you feel this was inappropriate and thank you for getting in touch.”

The BBC also revealed that an episode of The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown saw 289 complaints, with viewers objecting to an episode which included reference to ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

The BBC responded: “In ‘The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown’ Geraldine shares her take on some of the key stories of 2020 with her congregation, including clapping for the NHS, lockdown and school exams being cancelled. Like many others have done this year, she also reflected on the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We believe this was in keeping with the character and the theme of the show.”

Meanwhile the Christmas Special of The Goes Wrong Show received 193 complaints over “Humour offensive to Christians.”

The BBC said: “While it’s never our intention to offend or upset our viewers with what we show, it is perhaps inevitable that some aspects of our programmes will occasionally strike some in our audience as inappropriate.

“This is especially so within comedy; one of the most subjective areas of programming. Our Editorial Guidelines uphold the right to freedom of expression and the right of programme-makers to include material which some members of the audience may find inappropriate or offensive.

“However, we are always very conscious of how jokes might resonate with those with direct experience of the subjects we cover, and we never set out to mock or undermine their beliefs and experiences.”

Picture: BBC