(A7)The BBC reportedly barred its employees from attending a march against antisemitism in London today (Sunday), The Times reported.
The National Solidarity March Against Antisemitism, which is being organized by the Campaign Against Antisemitism organization, was deemed too “controversial” for the BBC to allow its employees to attend. According to the organizers the march “is set to be the largest demonstration in support of British Jews since the 1936 Battle of Cable Street.”
When BBC employees and journalists asked permission to attend the rally, they were told that doing so ran afoul of a company policy enacted in 2020 prohibiting employees from attending any “controversial march or demonstration.”
However, multiple BBC employees noted that the network has not prohibited attendance at pro-LGBTQ rallies and questioned the double standard applied to rallies against antisemitism.
One employee told The Times: “Racism is racism and something we should all abhor — but not when it comes to anti-Jewish racism it seems. If the BBC believes that racism is racism and not acceptable in any shape or form then going on a rally against antisemitism shouldn’t be an issue.”
Leo Pearlman, the cofounder of film production company Fulwell 73, said that “Just when one thinks the BBC cannot find a new depth of incompetence to sink to in their reporting and handling of these tragic last six weeks, they seem to have decided to draw a clear distinction between antisemitism and every other ‘ism’ with this directive to their staff.”
A BBC representative responded to The Times report: “The BBC is clear that antisemitism is abhorrent. We have established guidance around marches, which explains that different considerations apply depending on what you do for the BBC. Corporately, we have not issued any staff communication on any specific march this weekend, but this does not mean discussions which consider the guidance have not taken place between colleagues.”
The BBC has come under fire for the anti-Israel bias of its reporting of the Hamas massacre of over 1,200 people in southern Israel on October 7 and the subsequent war between Israel and Hamas.
Earlier this month, the BBC apologized after a reporter misrepresented an IDF statement that its forces at al-Shifah Hospital were accompanied by medical staff and Arabic speakers as the IDF stating that it targeted medical staff and Arabic speakers.
“As BBC News covered initial reports that Israeli forces had entered Gaza’s main hospital, we said that “medical teams and Arab speakers” were being targeted. This was incorrect and misquoted a Reuters report. We should have said IDF forces included medical teams and Arabic speakers for this operation. We apologize for this error, which fell below our usual editorial standards. The correct version of events was broadcast minutes later and we apologized for the mistake on air later in the morning,” the BBC’s statement read.
The BBC has also been criticized fo refusing to call Hamas a terrorist organization.