Posted on December 6, 2017

BBC Accused of Racism

Martin Robinson, Daily Mail, December 5, 2017

The BBC was accused of racism last night after it played a clip of the wrong actor while paying tribute to Bollywood legend Shashi Kapoor.

Tributes poured in from all around the world for the actor who made more than 100 films and died on Monday in Mumbai at the age of 79.

His death made the BBC News at Ten, but the video tribute they played caused fury because it showed footage of fellow star Amitabh Bachchan by mistake.

It got worse when they also featured footage of actor Rishi Kapoor instead of his famous uncle.

The BBC faced backlash on social media with users claiming the same mistake wouldn’t have been made if a white star had died.

Actor and comedian Adil Ray was among viewers who took to Twitter to voice their complaints.

The Citizen Khan star tweeted: ‘Someone at the BBC thought the brown person in this VT is the same person. Worse still neither of them are the deceased actor Huw refers to. It’s poor when it would have taken them seconds to verify. Not enough care.’

The BBC was accused of confusing ‘brown people’ and critics say they wouldn’t make the same mistake white actors

Another @WritersofColour said: ‘Hang on @bbcnews Shashi Kapoor has died not Amitabh Bachan or Rishi Kapoor, who you’ve weirdly used to illustrate the story.

Another angry viewer wrote: ‘Shocking to note @BBC insults a veteran actor Shashi Kapoor by showing clips of @SrBachchan & @chintskap whilst reporting his death [email protected] must apologize!!! Clearly they have no clue.

Trishna Bharadia added: ‘Did BBC News at 10 cover the Shashi Kapoor story but just showed footage of Amitabh Bhachan and Rishi Kapoor? I’m no Bollywood expert but that’s what it looked like to me. My sister thought Amitabh had died as well!?’

And another Tweeted: ‘I hope you now have a photograph of the real Shashi Kapoor? Poor man can’t even rest in peace because the BBC credited another ‘brown person ‘ with his work.’

Accepting the mistake, Editor Paul Royall apologised for the error. ‘#BBCNewsTen is very sorry wrong images were used to mark the death of Shashi Kapoor. Not our usual standards and I apologise for any upset,’ he tweeted on Tuesday.

Kapoor passed away at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai early on December4.

He made his debut as a leading man in the 1961 film ‘Dharmputra’ and went on to appear in more than 116 films during the ’70s and until the mid ’80s.

Among his memorable films were ‘Deewar’, ‘Kabhie Kabhie’, ‘Namak Halal’ and ‘Kaala Pathar’.

He was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2011 and received cinema’s prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award in 2015.