The BBC ended Black History Month with a bang on Monday, when it posted a video online asking, “Black people and fried chicken—is there any truth in it?”
The tagline was used for a clip about racism in Britain and was quickly changed for the next promo tweet.
— BBC Newsbeat (@BBCNewsbeat) October 31, 2016
But this wasn’t before people online had pointed out that by even asking such a profoundly generalizing, ignorant question, the BBC was perpetuating stereotypes of black people.
So with all things going on, whether or not we like fried chicken is your go to topic?? Tasteless bullshit
— Slade Wilson (@OheneKwes) October 31, 2016
The clip in question, which the BBC says is part of a larger documentary, isn’t the most hard-hitting piece of journalism, either. Instead of breaking down why the stereotype exists and how it’s harmful, it instead features mostly white people saying casually insensitive things like, “Apparently, it makes your bum bigger, so a lot of black girls that I know, they are always like, ‘Yeah, you know, I eat loads of chicken because it makes your bum bigger.'”
Maybe for the 2017’s Black History Month, the BBC can get a black person in the room and explain how fried chicken doesn’t give you butt lift, but it does reduce a culture to a food’s classist, dirty, slave-invoking origins. Just a thought.