On the fateful night of December 4, Monday, when a nation of 1.3 billion people and cinema lovers across the globe were mourning the death of one of Bollywood’s greatest actors Shashi Kapoor, BBC was left red-faced after its careless reportage. The media giant aired clips of Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor in their segment News at Ten hosted by Huw Edwards while announcing the demise of 79-year-old Shashi Kapoor.
The segment showed a clip of Amitabh Bachchan from Kabhie Kabhie and the next one showed Rishi Kapoor dancing with a guitar.
Here is the clip of the segment:
— Media Diversified (@WritersofColour) December 4, 2017
The channel did not show Shashi Kapoor’s face even once, a fact that has not escaped social media’s notice. The presenter and the team did not care enough to cross-check and know more about Shashi Kapoor, who along with featuring in over 150 Indian films, had also appeared in English movies like Shakespeare Wallah and Pretty Polly.
Twitter users made sure BBC paid for their rare ‘journalistic error’ and slammed the channel for its ignorance. Not only Indians, the barrage of criticism for BBC’s lax reportage came from many around the globe.
Here are a few tweets slamming the sheer ignorance of BBC:
Lack of knowledge & research…if you dont know the news in and out dont telecast….reporting standards should be strict and punishable
— Swapna Kashyap (@SwapnaKashyap) December 5, 2017
Shashi Kapoor was a megastar: the error of showing pictures of 2 other actors is appalling & insulting, particularly in the context of a story about death.
— Harini Iyengar (@Harini_Iyengar) December 5, 2017
Shame that such an iconic actor from the golden age of Bollywood gets this treatment pic.twitter.com/Ky2VCdHkiY
— Tahira Mohammad (@tahiramp1) December 4, 2017
— Graeme (@Lurganexile) December 4, 2017
I’m really annoyed about the BBC Shashi Kapoor thing. DOES ANYONE GIVE A DAMN? If you do, please tweet the editor @paulroyall
— Aasmah Mir (@AasmahMir) December 4, 2017
Shame, problem when you don’t have a diverse team in the room – and obviously all those brown people look the same
— Marti Burgess (@martiburgess) December 5, 2017
One Twitter users said BBC should introduce cultural diversity in their newsroom to ensure these mistakes didn’t happen again:
I was sitting there thinking “why the hell are they showing classic footage of Amitabh @SrBachchan“….and then realised that the person responsible for obituaries @BBCNews may indeed not be able to tell the difference…
— Katherine Schofield (@katherineschof8) December 4, 2017
Also read: 7 on-screen avatars of Shashi Kapoor that prove he was a fashion icon of his era
The programme’s editor Pay Royall took to Twitter to apologise for the gaffe and said it did not comply with the ‘usual standards’.
#BBCNewsTen is very sorry wrong images were used to mark the death of Shashi Kapoor. Not our usual standards and I apologise for any upset.
— Paul Royall (@paulroyall) December 4, 2017
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