A new movement has sprung up in the U.K. of people seeking to “Defund the BBC .” An activist organization named just that has called the British Broadcasting Corporation “anti-British,” seemingly in response to the network offering a way for viewers to complain about its voluminous coverage of Prince Philip’s death on Friday.
“Disgraceful! The anti-British BBC has set up a form to encourage complaints about the volume of coverage of Prince Philips death,” Defund the BBC tweeted on Friday.
The tweet included a link to a now-out-of-service BBC page that appeared to have been set up specifically for complaints against the network over its coverage of Philip’s death. It appears the page has been taken down: A “Sorry, this page isn’t available” message appears when going to the link.
Defund the BBC appears to have begun last summer with the goal of making payment of a TV license fee optional. “Our aim is simple – we want to decriminalise non-payment of the TV licence fee and reduce the BBC Charter’s scope to cover BBC content only,” the organization says in a GoFundMe campaign launched to help spread awareness.
In an emailed statement to Newsweek , Defund the BBC campaign director Rebecca Ryan explained why the movement found the complaint page offensive.
“Having recently mocked an MP for having a Union Jack and photo of the Queen in his office during a live broadcast the BBC is now encouraging viewers to complain about coverage of Prince Philips death. This is deeply insulting to the very people who are forced to fund the broadcaster through taxation on watching any live TV,” she wrote in an email.
According to Deadline, the BBC and other British channels suffered ratings hits on Friday as coverage surrounding Philip’s death became the channel’s main focus. The entertainment outlet noted that BBC One saw a six percent decrease in viewership from the previous Friday, while BBC Two dropped 65 percent.
While the page for people to voice their frustrations about the plentiful coverage surrounding Prince Philip ‘s death may be gone, the BBC does have a section on its website explaining the changes and offering viewers links to schedules.
“Due to the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, there will be changes to our planned schedules,” the BBC site says. “We understand that last minute schedule changes can be frustrating to our audiences and we try to keep them to a minimum.”
Despite the activists’ anger at the BBC’s now-defunct efforts to streamline complaints about the abundant coverage surrounding Philip’s death, many people on Twitter did critique the network for what they saw as an excessive amount of coverage, some offering jokes that it seemed that the network was overdoing it. Others criticized the network with at least two people pointing out that it felt like the BBC was providing more in-depth coverage of the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing rather than important issues such as victims of the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit.
One person pointed out the irony in the two sides of the argument.
- A weight off her shoulders! Smiling Theresa May goes to her church with husband Philip as her would-be successors furiously do battle and claim THEY can solve Brexit deadlock
- MPs call for Ofcom to probe BBC’s 'disgraceful' leadership debate that featured an anti-Israel imam who blames women for rape, a Labour apparatchik and other nakedly anti-Tory guests - as broadcaster still WON'T apologise
- British Airways cabin crew fear they are at increased risk of catching coronavirus because planes are 'deep-cleaned once a month' and only get a 'quick wipe' after most flights - after two Heathrow baggage handlers catch the infection
- Jeremy Corbyn-supporting union boss behind Christmas rail strikes is filmed calling Jewish activist a 'Nazi' in rant about Israel
- Coronavirus: BBC TV licence fee could starve over-75s of vital news, warns charity
- Some of GTA's original team don't sound hopeful for that BBC docu-drama
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