Tory MP to cancel licence fee after BBC podcast on 'Karens'

BBC is at centre of racism storm over podcast where presenters called white women ‘Karens’ and said they should ‘read some books’ and ‘stop being so loud’

  • The clip is from an episode of the BBC’s No Country For Young Women podcast
  • The host and two guests were discussing ‘How can white women not be Karens?’
  • Karen is used to describe middle aged white women who show racist behaviour 
  • However, clip has been slammed on social media by several Conservative MPs 

The BBC is at the centre of a racism storm this evening after airing a podcast where a presenter asked: ‘How can white women not be Karens?’.

Several MPs have slammed the BBC on social media for its No Country For Young Women podcast.

In a Twitter preview for the latest episode, presenter Sadia Azmat asked: ‘How can white women not be Karens?’ 

She was joined by Chicken Shop Date CEO Amelia Dimoldenberg and historian Dr Charlotte Riley for the 40-minute discussion which, according to the BBC Sounds website, looked at diversity, stereotypes and feminism, and explored the ”historic context for Karens”.

The term ‘Karen’ is an increasingly popular reference to a middle-aged white woman who displays bigoted or racist behaviour.

In the segment, Ms Dimoldenberg said: ‘Read some books so you are aware of the histories of white people and race.’

Dr Riley replied: ‘I think as well just try not to be defensive about things, and particularly try not to be defensive about your whiteness.

‘I think a lot of the time when women are Karens it is because they are completely unwilling to accept that their whiteness is a privilege and, you know, instead they want to be treated in a special way because they are women.

‘I think you have to be ready to think critically about your identity and your privilege.’

Ms Dimoldenberg added: ‘Yeah, and don’t be so loud. Stop shouting and stop attacking black voices. Instead you should be uplifting them.’

Dr Riley said: ‘Yeah, get out of the way basically.’ 

And Ms Dimoldenberg finished: ‘Yeah, basically leave.’ 

However, the clip attracted controversy on social media and drew the ire of several Conervative MPs. 

Neil O’Brien, the MP for Harborough, Oadby & Wigston, branded the podcast ‘racist drivel’.

Agreeing with him, Mr Bradley added: ‘Absolute joke. Cancelling my TV license. I don’t need to pay for this.’

TalkRADIO presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer commented: ‘So I’m a gammon, a boomer and now I’m a Karen too.

‘Another day, another insult. Keep on going with this and see how well it works out in the end…’

Maajid Nawaz tweeted: ‘BBC should be ashamed of silencing women by calling them pejoratives

‘If you legitimise ‘Karen’ & ‘Gammon’, it won’t be long before ‘Leeroy’ & ‘Abdul’ become reciprocal insults.

‘Minorities & women have to live with this hateful atmosphere. Bullying is never progressive.’ 

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