Adjusting the contrast National and cultural identity, ethnicity and difference have always been major themes within the national psyche. People are witnessing the rise and visibility of far-right politics and counter-movements in the UK and USA. Simultaneously, there is an urgent need to defend the role of public service media. This book emerges at a time when these shifts and conjunctures that impact on and shape how 'race' and racial difference are perceived. They are coinciding with rapidly changing media contexts and environments and the kinds of racial representations that are constructed within public service broadcasting (PSB), specifically the BBC and Channel 4. The book explores a range of texts and practices that address the ongoing phenomenon of race and its relationship to television. Policies and the management of race; transnationalism and racial diversity; historical questions of representation; the myth of a multicultural England are also explored. It interrogates three television primarily created by women, written by women, feature women in most of the lead roles, and forcefully reassert the place of women in British history. The book contributes to the range of debates around television drama and black representation, examining BBC's Shoot the Messenger and Top Boy. Finally, it explores some of the history that led to the belated breakthrough of Black and Asian British comedy. The book also looks at the production of jokes about race and colour prior to the 1980s and 1990s, and questioning what these jokes tell us about British multiculturalism in this period.
Jokes, racism and Black and Asian voices in British comedy television
Framing The Fosters: jokes, racism and Black
and Asian voices in British comedy television
This chapter interrogates the relationship among television comedy,
power and racial politics in post-war Britain. In a period where Black
and Asian Britons were forced to negotiate racism as a day-to-day
reality, I want to question the role played by television comedy in reflecting and shaping Britishmulticultural society.1 This chapter probes Black
and Asian agency in comedy production, questioning who the joke
makers were, and what impact this had on
the larger British television
industry from which it emerged. Luther’s diversity is a representation
of modern Britishmulticulturalism’s reliance on the (sometimes compulsory) assimilation of non-white people (immigrant or British-born)
as a means to uphold the presumptive whiteness of Britain’s national
character. But for Elba Luther would be just as white (if not more so)
than any other show on British television. The popular image of a multicultural Britain is not challenged by one Black man. Rather, multicultural Britain can allow space for ‘the other’ so long
Ken Loach, Ae Fond Kiss and multicultural Scottish cinema
, who is the DJ seen in
the club and the film’s protagonist, as he comically attempts to
Importing national cinema
Figure 8 ‘The politics of the dancefloor’: Casim and Roisin clubbing in
Ae Fond Kiss
keep dogs from urinating on his newspaper placard. The tone
of comedy in this sequence further aligns the film with trends in
Britishmulticultural cinema, and much European multicultural
cinema.45 More specifically, this montage sequence recalls the
humorous content and tone of East is East. The contrast between
Casim and his father evokes both the gap
Dangerous Master We’ve Had in Years ’,
Doctor Who Watch (6 January), https://doctorwhowatch.com/2020/01/06/doctor-who-sacha-dhawan-master/ (accessed 9
Ashcroft , R. T.
Bevir ( 2019 ).
‘ BritishMulticulturalism after Empire: Immigration,
Nationality, and Citizenship ’, in R. T.
Ashcroft and M.
Bevir (eds), Multiculturalism
in the British Commonwealth: Comparative Perspectives on Theory and Practice . Oakland : University of California
Exploring gender, anti-racism, and homonormativity in Shamim Sarif ’s
The World Unseen (2001) and I Can’t Think Straight
Alberto Fernández Carbajal
socially conditioned to accept the advances of suitors of her same religious background.
Sarif’s narratives suggest that, as regards marriage, British Muslim and cosmopolitan Arab communities are too religiously exclusive and that they foster monoculturalism rather than multicultural exchange, although they show how this is not just a symptom of a crisis in Britishmulticulturalism, but that it also affects Christian families based in both Britain and the Middle East. The culturally hermetic character of ethno-religious unions does not chiefly
Queering ethnicity and British Muslim masculinities in Sally El Hosaini’s
My Brother the Devil (2012)
Alberto Fernández Carbajal
the strictures placed on queer Muslim desire. El Hosaini’s short film contrasts significantly with Sarif’s life-affirming examination of female homosexuality in a Britishmulticultural context, offering the tragic flip-side of Muslim same-sex desire: whereas Sarif’s protagonists rebelled and distanced themselves from their families’ dogmatic positions on homosexuality, El Hosaini’s short film offers a more pessimistic resolution, showing the limited range of options offered to those Muslims who refuse to conform to their diasporic community’s societal and familial
Queer phenomenology, and cultural and religious commodifi cation in Hanif
Kureishi’s My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) and The Buddha of
Alberto Fernández Carbajal
’s cousin Tania. They seem to fit the more polymorphous and fluid term ‘queer’. Omar and Johnny’s bodies become intertwined in the human tapestry of Britishmulticulturalism, a rebellion against what Amartya Sen perceives as the threat of contemporary British ‘plural monoculturalism’ ( 2006 , p. 157).
However, the queer relations between Omar’s mixed-race diasporic body and Johnny’s white British body do not happen in a vacuum or in an alternative heuristic space reserved for queer dissidence; rather, they intimately engage their surroundings