Call to cancel Immigration Street

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Published: Sunday 22nd February 2015 by The News Editor

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TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady has added her voice to calls for Channel 4 to cancel its controversial documentary Immigration Street.

The broadcaster’s p lans for a series about immigration were scaled back after programme-makers were confronted on the street during filming.

The show, filmed in Southampton’s Derby Road, was originally intended to be a six-part series but the broadcaster will now broadcast one hour-long episode.

Ms O’Grady said: “Channel 4 needs to respect the views of the Southampton community and cancel Immigration Street.

“The show looks set to encourage social division and hostility towards migrants and the black, minority and ethnic community. Instead of such irresponsible broadcasting, the media should expose how communities are suffering from the shocking impact of low wages, lousy contracts and cuts to services.”

Channel 4 said “external political pressure” culminated in a public meeting where the show’s producer Kieran Smith was shouted down.

It said: “On the street itself, verbal aggression was turning into threats of violence. Finally the producers reluctantly took the decision to pull out, as the safety of the crew could no longer be guaranteed.”

Mr Smith said: “Many people on Derby Road made the crew feel welcome and wanted to share their stories but there were local groups who, for their own reasons, were determined to halt production.

“It’s a great shame as the footage we have shot shows Derby Road is a place where, on the whole, people of different nationalities, cultures and religions respect and get along with each other. This will be reflected in the film.”

The show will be broadcast on Tuesday as part of a series of programmes looking at the issue of immigration.

Published: Sunday 22nd February 2015 by The News Editor

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