Channel 4 has once again upset local residents with the production of one of its controversial television programmes, Immigration Street.
The series is based in Southampton and takes a look at the lives of residents of Derby Road. While the producers claim that the show makes an effort to ensure that people on the programme would be “represented fairly and accurately”, protestors have stepped out expressing concern that the programme will spark “social unrest”.
A Channel 4 spokesman told the BBC that the producers took “several months” to get to know the community through conversations and “ongoing dialogue with the local council, MPs and religious leaders”.
However, protestors, such as Muslim broadcaster and community activist Mo Ansar, claim that there has been a “reckless” approach from the series producers, Love Productions. Mr Ansar told the BBC: “We've seen with the Benefits Street programme and the programmes on Gypsy traveller communities that this sensationalist broadcasting results in prejudice. Both these communities have had backlashes. It fuels and feeds the far-right.”
The response to the Benefits Street programme would suggest that he has a point given that the broadcaster received around 1,700 complaints over the representation on people on the show.
Despite concerns expressed by residents over the medium used to address the debate, Channel 4 has claimed that the debate surround immigration is one that needs to happen. The spokesman said: “Immigration is one of the most fiercely debated issues in Britain today so it is vital that as a public service broadcaster Channel 4 makes programmes that examine such topics.”