The General Secretary of Britain’s Trades Union Congress has added her voice to calls demanding that Channel 4 cancel a controversial documentary on immigration.
Frances O’Grady said the Southampton-set show, titled Immigration Street, would “encourage social division and “hostility towards migrants”.
“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”, Ms O’Grady said.
“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”, she added.
Channel 4 has been forced to scale back the programme from six episodes to one after the crew were confronted on Southampton’s Derby Road during filming.
The broadcaster said “external political pressure” culminated in a public meeting where the show’s producer Kieran Smith was shouted down.
A statement from Channel 4 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.”
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 (24 March) as part of a series of programmes looking at the issue of immigration.