The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has told its staff and guests not to wear Black Lives Matter (BLM) badges on air.
The Telegraph reported that the broadcaster adopted the stance over hijack of the racial-equality movement for political purposes.
According to the report, bosses at the corporation are concerned about the political nature of BLM groups’ messages, and therefore decided against “visual symbols of support”.
The paper quoted sources at the corporation as saying that the BBC had always considered BLM a political campaign and as such has been circumspect about overt support from time.
The movement had earlier this week released some politically-charged tweets, giving many supporting organisations reasons to backtrack. The UK arm had publicly criticised Israel and called for defending of the police, among others, considered far-left activism.
Even broadcasters such as Sky that used to support the movement may be having a rethink after some presenters expressed unease at wearing BLM badges on air.
Although English top-flight players wear “Black Lives Matter” inscription on the sleeves of their jerseys, a Premier League spokesman said it recognised “the importance of the message that black lives matter” but did not “endorse any political organisation or movement, nor support any group that calls for violence or condones illegal activity”.
“The BBC cannot be seen to support any kind of cause over another, and Black Lives Matter is certainly a campaign.
“Therefore we wouldn’t want anyone on-screen to be wearing visual symbols of support.
“Our presenters and guests can discuss Black Lives Matter, and we’ve reported on it in depth. We’re not impartial about racism.
“But wearing badges on screen – just as with any other campaign – would be a step too far,” a source at the corporation was quoted as saying.