Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Was ballerina "Fatima" Ad not only "Crass" but also deliberately racists?

 The government has pulled a heavily criticised advert that suggested a ballet dancer could “reboot” her career and retrain as an IT worker amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson admitted the advert, which was launched amid anger at the relative lack of government financial support for the creative industries, was “inappropriate”.

"Crass yes", but was it also deliberately racists?

Well that's one word you could use another is deliberately racist.

The spokesperson said:

 “This is part of a campaign encouraging people from all walks of life to consider a career in cyber-security. This particular piece of content was not appropriate and has been removed from the campaign.

“The government recognises the challenge to the cultural industry and today the culture secretary has announced £257m of funding to help support 1,385 theatres, art venues, museums and cultural organisations across England.”

The advert is part of the government’s Cyber First campaign and featured a young dancer tying up her ballet shoes, with the caption: “Fatima’s next job could be in cyber. (She just doesn’t know it yet)”

It adds the slogan: “Rethink. Reskill. Reboot.”

Earlier on Monday, culture secretary Oliver Dowden distanced himself from the advert, calling it “crass” and insisting the poster had not been produced by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

He tweeted shortly after the hashtag “Fatima” began trending on Twitter: “To those tweeting re #Fatima. This is not something from DCMS and I agree it was crass. This was a partner campaign encouraging people from all walks of life to think about a career in cyber security.

 I have spent my entire life immersed in music and I am married to someone who has spent her entire life and no small amount of money training for roles in theatre and the arts...this is revolting #Fatima" tweeted one outraged creative.

With another saying: "This ad is a disgrace! The total lack of respect for the arts by this dreadful government has to stop!! Talk about also crushing young performers dreams! Rethink Reskill Reboot??!! How dare they!"

"And just like that, Fatima's dreams are crushed. Shocking from HMG," said another.

"How hideous is this. Fatima's dreams: dismissed, degraded, denounced," added a fourth.

But was it racist deliberately or not , many people have long displaced the idea that Ballerinas are are the daughters of the white middle class , but you can't have the  feeling the use of "Fatima" might be asking  the question " What is an Asian girl doing  learning to be a Ballerina?"

Apparently the goverment used a Stock Photo for this appalling Ad and one wonders why use this one?

The advert may have crashes badly, but i suspect the message from the goverment will continue as they place the crisis that the Arts  are facing due to theatre closures during the Covid 19 pandemic on the Artists themselves  following impossible dreams. It's not as if Artists take other jobs when "resting".

Before landing a role in Peter Kay's Car Share in 2015, thw Welsh actress Sian Gibson had not auditioned for any acting roles for over a year and was working in a call centre in Chester. Kay had received the script from Paul Coleman and Tim Reid, who sought Kay's opinion. Although Kay loved the script he initially had no intention of even appearing in the series. He later asked Gibson if she wanted to work with him and they set to work rewriting the script to fit themselves, since John and Kayleigh as originally scripted were meant to be slightly younger. The success of the series brought Gibson to wider prominence and opened the door for other roles. She returned for the second series of Car Share in April 2017.

Eve Myles of "Keeping Faith and "Torchwood "was once do disillusioned that she was thinking of retraining as a midwife.

Just seven years ago, when pregnant with Siena, she was so disillusioned with her career that she was intent on jacking it in and had signed up for a midwifery course, having become fascinated by the work of the sonographers she met during routine scans. ‘I had a wobble. I wasn’t doing the parts I wanted and I was bored,’ Eve says. ‘Brad’s very patient; he knows when I’m a bit lost, so he was completely behind me. But then as soon as I signed up for the course, I was offered Faith and he said, “OK, here’s the challenge you need!”’

What a loss it would have been if we had lost both the above , and what a loss it will be if due to the governments failure to help the arts through the crisis, more and more talented people give up their dreams.

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