Dotun laments lack of Black unity at BBC


In an emotional outpouring live on BBC radio, veteran presenter Dotun Adebeyo spoke about how he was profoundly disillusioned with the lack of African unity within the BBC, in the wake of Black presenters being paid less than their white colleagues.

Speaking on his own programme at BBC London during a discussion around the NAACP calling for Black people to boycott the State of Missouri due to State legislative racism, Adebeyo was asked about the racial pay disparity, which was largely ignored by the media, which concentrated their efforts on gender pay gap. Adebeyo began by stating that whilst he was an employer of the BBC his focus was not about him personally, but by the issue at hand for every Black person at the BBC.

‘Some of us tried desperately to rally our brothers and sisters, but sadly to no avail.’ Paraphrasing Adebayo’s sentiments, he went on to say, ‘it was shameful that so many of my colleagues either never responded to my call, or made the weakest excuses ever why they couldn’t join a collective stand.’  ‘I’ve never been more disillusioned by my Black colleagues failure to challenge the BBC’s racial pay gaps, particularly, when there’s a young generation of Black activists fighting for justice, and my comfortable colleagues are, in effect, frightened of their own shadows.

This is not the only time that Dotun Adebayo has forcibly spoken out on issues he cares about. In 2010 he challenged the would-be Prime Minister David Cameron to legislate against far-Right group members becoming teachers: ‘Would you want your children being taught by a fully-fledged open racial bigot? To Cameron’s credit, he changed the law to make it illegal for BNP, EDL and other Far Right group members to teach in State schools. To many in the Black community this law is known as ‘Dotun’s Law’.

I was in the studio with other guests such as the activists Marlene Ellis and Kunle Olulode. It was said that some of Dotun’s Black colleagues should hang their heads in shame at such a cowardly response to the BBC paying Black staff less than their white peers.

Thank heavens we have strong steadfast voice in  Dotun Adebeyo.

Simon Woolley