Tagged: demonise working class people

Benefits Street Stockton likely to hit television screens in March 2015

The new series of Benefits Street being filmed on Teesside is likely to air in March next year.

The second series of the observational documentary series is being filmed in Kingston Road, Tilery, in Stockton.

It comes after the first – based in Birmingham – attracted huge controversy.

Sources close to the show havesaid that the first instalment of the second series of Benefits Street is expected to be shown on Channel 4 in March next year – although the exact date is still undecided.

The decision to film in Stockton caused widespread outrage, with some accusing Channel 4 of using “poverty tourism” to chase ratings.

The first series made stars of some of its cast but was described by some critics as “poverty porn”.

Austin Mitchell, the Labour MP for Great Grimsby, accused the broadcaster of perpetuating a “monstrous travesty of reality”.

And Labour’s Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham wrote to every resident of Kingston Road asking them to “think again” about taking part in the documentary.

He also suggested the makers of the programme, Love Productions, should “get out of the town”.

After the story broke  in August that the show WAS being filmed on Teesside, Boro fans at the Riverside Stadium unveiled a banner reading “Being poor is not entertainment”.

Protest against Benefits Street at the Riverside
Protest against Benefits Street at the Riverside

Boro supporters’ group Red Faction were behind the banners unveiled in the south stand of the Riverside Stadium during Boro’s game against Reading.

Group member Steve Fletcher, 27, said at the time: “Shows like this demonise working class people. They need help, not mocking.”

However, the chief executive of Channel 4 defended its decision to make another series of Benefits Street in Stockton.

Despite the fierce local and national criticism of the show, Ralph Lee, boss of the channel, said that the broadcaster’s output would not be “censored”.

Mr Lee told a national newspaper:

We can’t let this kind of criticism have a chilling effect on making programmes.

“In a way what they are calling for is a form of censorship and I am always really suspicious of that.

“I defend our right – and the necessity – to tell the stories of some of the distressed parts of our society.”

Source –  Middlesbrough Evening Gazette,  24 Nov 2014

Benefits Street: Channel 4 boss defends filming of second series in Stockton

The chief executive of Channel 4 has defended its decision to make another series of Benefits Street in Stockton.

Despite fierce local and national criticism of the show, Ralph Lee, boss of the channel, said that the broadcaster’s output would not be ‘censored’.

The second series of Benefits Street is being filmed on Kingston Road, in Tilery in Stockton – leading to MPs and council leaders condemning the show, community groups launching a petition and Boro fans unveiling a banner at the Riverside Stadium reading “Being poor is not entertainment”.

Protest against Benefits Street at the Riverside
Protest against Benefits Street at the Riverside

 

But Mr Lee told a national newspaper:

We can’t let this kind of criticism have a chilling effect on making programme” .

“In a way what they are calling for is a form of censorship and I am always really suspicious of that. I defend our right – and the necessity – to tell the stories of some of the distressed parts of our society.”

Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham wrote to every resident of Kingston Road asking them to “think again” about taking part in the Channel 4 documentary.

The Labour MP had already suggested the makers of the programme, Love Productions, should “get out of the town” after accusing them of setting people up for “entertainment purposes only”.

And two Stockton mums Charlotte Hall and Di Hewitt launched an online petition, attracting 1,700 names, asking  Love Productions to leave Stockton.

Middlesbrough football supporters group, Red Faction, were behind the banners unveiled in the south stand of the Riverside Stadium during Boro’s game against Reading.

Group member Steve Fletcher, 27 said at the time:

“I was hoping it would catch people’s eye at the match and help raise awareness.

“I don’t think the show will paint Teesside in a particularly good light. It is trivialising a serious social issue.

“Shows like this demonise working class people. They need help not mocking.”

Business and council leaders condemned the filming, saying that it would “misrepresent” Stockton.

And proud Stocktonian Mike McGrother, frontman in local band Wildcats of Kilkenny, caused an internet storm when he sent an impassioned letter praising the town to producers.

Source –  Middlesbrough Evening Gazette,  28 Oct 2014

Benefits Street 2: Middlesbrough football fans display banners attacking new series

 

Banners attacking the decision to film the new series of Benefits Street in Teesside

Banners attacking the decision to film the new series of Benefits Street on Teesside were flown at the weekend’s Middlesbrough match.

Two were on display at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday – slamming the decision to film the Channel 4 show on Kingston Road at Tilery, Stockton.

One banner read “Being poor is not entertainment” while the other said “f*** Benefit Street”.

The Boro supporters group, Red Faction are the group behind the banners, and have spoken about why they took the step to take them to the Middlesborough vs Reading game.

I was hoping it would catch people’s eye at the match and help raise awareness,” said group member Steve Fletcher, 27.

I don’t think the show will paint Teesside in a particularly good light. It is trivialising a serious social issue.

“Shows like this demonise working class people. They need help not mocking.”

I am a proud Teessider,” added Steve, a telephone engineer. “I am proud of where I come from and don’t think this show should be filmed here.

Filming of the second series of the hugely controversial TV show Benefits Street is under way in Stockton.

Source –  Daily Mirror,  03 Sept 2014