• Wednesday, April 17, 2024


‘Ethnic minorities unfairly assigned to dance-off in ‘Strictly,’ says academic

BBC refused to comment on the report when contacted by Eastern Eye.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Lauren Oakley on Strictly Come Dancing (Photo credit: BBC/Guy Levy)

By: Mohnish Singh

Contestants on the popular BBC show, Strictly Come Dancing, who are most likely to be assigned to repeated dance-offs are racial minority celebrities paired with racial minority professional dancers and who achieved high scores from the judges, an academic has said.

Professor Keon West from Goldsmiths, University of London, analysed data from the 2012 to 2021 series for his paper, ‘Being asked to dance: Evidence of racial bias in audience voting behaviour on the television show Strictly Come Dancing’.

He found that both professional dancers and celebrity contestants were penalised for their ethnic minority status, and this penalty was worse, not better if they danced well. Viewers appeared to be less willing to vote for ethnic minorities, the academic found.

Despite acknowledging that the diversity on Strictly is a good thing, West also cautioned that diversity alone is not sufficient.

He warned that viewers who regularly see racial minorities excluded or rejected, even despite evidence of superior skill in a relevant domain, may come to see this treatment of racial minorities as normal or acceptable.

BBC refused to comment on West’s paper when contacted by Eastern Eye.

Meanwhile, actress Ellie Leach was recently announced as the winner of the 21st series of Strictly. The series saw 15 celebrities from different walks of life competing for the glitterball trophy.

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