When: Monday 13 January 2014, 15:00
Where: Love Productions, 43 Eagle Street, London, WC1R 4AT.
Protesters from across the UK, coordinated by Unite Community, will gather outside the offices of the production company behind Channel 4’s Benefits Street at 15:00 today, to protest against the show’s misrepresentation of poverty in modern Britain.
The protest will be at Love Productions, 43 Eagle Street, London, WC1R 4AT.
The protestors will include people from the area of Birmingham where the programme was filmed. They have accused Love Productions, the makers of the show, of misrepresenting the issue of poverty in modern Britain in a “cynical grab for ratings”.
They have also accused the makers of mindlessly supporting the government’s divisive attack on families who are in need of support, as a result of record unemployment and spiralling prices.
Campaigners are calling on the production company to meet with the community affected, to better understand concerns and discuss how they can help repair the damage caused by the show.
Unite community coordinator Pilgrim Tucker said: “Benefits Street is the latest in a long line of exploitative television shows that misrepresent communities, in a cynical grab for ratings.
“Love Productions and Channel 4 have served up yet another exploitative, heavily edited, hatchet job of a show. Rather than shine a spotlight on the millions of families that are really struggling, as a result of the recession and government austerity, they have sought out vulnerable desperate people and served them up for entertainment.
“In reality, almost 50 per cent of social security spending is actually used to support pensioners and 20 per cent tops up the income of poorly paid people in work, through family and income support and tax credits. In contrast, just three per cent is used to support people who are looking for work.
“So we have organised this protest to show the makers of Benefits Street that we are not going to allow them to get away with the gross misrepresentation of working class communities. We want the production team to come and meet with the communities impacted by the show, to better understand concerns and discuss how they can help repair the damage caused.”
For further information contact Pilgrim Tucker 07970 126 249.
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey