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Why don’t we talk about it?
91
Why don’t we talk about it? 
I just wish that it was easier to have the conversation about who
you are bringing in and what impact it is going to have because you
do feel like a bit of a whinger. Internally they think: hobby horse,
guilty, chip on his shoulder. Externally, people don’t know that
because they never see this side of me and they might just think
he’s Uncle Tom, looks after himself. I don’t think they probably
realise the problems you can cause for yourself because you are a
professional Asian in people’s eyes, I always will be. It would be a lot
easier just not to bother with these things and just get on with your
stuff and completely assimilate to a point where you are no
different. - Commissioner
Most of my interviewees described this difficulty with being able to talk openly
about the practical issues around diversity, and the awkwardness that it created
when they did. Many people who attempt to challenge the status quo feel they
risk being marked out as troublemakers. 
We will demand truthful content and it will cause offence and I guess
you are marked off very, very early on. - Independent producer
They don’t want disabled people getting political; they see a disabled
person’s contribution as worthy, aggressive, hitting people over the
head. - Producer
I think in the push for assimilation, the price will be let’s not talk
about these things. I think what will happen is that those people will
find that as long as they don’t rock the boat or raise these kinds of
issues they are okay, they will get on but, as soon as they do, that is
a mark against them. - Producer
The fear of damaging career prospects is also a very real one in an industry
which is all about relationships and getting on with people.
As a director you are in a really difficult position because you are
freelance, you want to be employed again. Especially at the BBC
there is a focus on Is that person nice? So you don’t want to be seen
to be difficult. If you are not seen as a nice person or if you are
awkward you know that you will not be employed again so even
raising the suggestion, maybe it is the wrong thing to do becauseyou
have a mortgage to pay. - Director
It is funny because I am not exactly shy but commenting on other
people’s programmes on disability I have got myself into sticky
situations… It is a really tricky balancing act. - Assistant producer
This sensitivity means that people are often forced to skirt the real issues,
denying the opportunity for an honest exchange of views that would improve
programmes.
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