the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

5 April 2016

BECTU together with Equity, the Musicians' Union and the NUJ are today urging Tony Hall, BBC director-general, to back calls for a reversal of the deal reached with government last year which would see the BBC's income cut by £750m. Under the umbrella of the Federation of Entertainment Unions, the following press release was issued today, Tuesday 5 April.

Entertainment unions urge BBC director general Tony Hall to 'Ditch the Deal' 

BBC Director General Tony Hall has been urged by the Federation of Entertainment Unions to ditch the Licence Fee deal he made with the Government last year, which will cripple the BBC with the cost of free licences for those over 75 at a catastrophic sum of £750m per year (20% of the BBC budget).

The move comes as Lord Hall takes part in an ‘in conversation’ event with film producer and Labour Peer Lord Puttnam at BAFTA in London on 5 April 2016.

Under the banner of the BBC Love It Or Lose It campaign, the Federation of Entertainment Unions (NUJ, Musicians’ Union, Equity, BECTU and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain) are urging their members to gather outside BAFTA in Piccadilly at 6.15pm on Tuesday 5 April to call upon Lord Hall to stand firm on the future of the BBC as it faces a crucial stage in charter renewal. They are calling on him to say:

  • NO to Government interference
  • NO to burdening the BBC with the cost of Government welfare policies
  • NO to strangling the BBC's independence by appointing Government supporters to the new governing body of the BBC.

A social media campaign is being run in tandem with the event, and is being backed by high-profile union members and supporters, including writer Caitlin Moran, actor and director Samuel West and actor Bertie Carvel. It will culminate in a ‘Thunderclap’ at 6.30pm on 5 April, which will see supporters simultaneously Tweet / post the following message, expected to reach well over a million people.

Tony Hall – Keep the BBC independent, ditch the deal! #futureofTV #BackTheBBC

ENDS                                                                                                           

Notes to editors

BBC Love It Or Lose It campaign

Run by the Federation of Entertainment Unions, this is calling for a strong, independent and properly-funded BBC as it faces Charter renewal, so it can carry out its duties as a public service broadcaster.

#BackTheBBC social media campaign

This is being run from the Twitter account @BBC_LoveIt, using the hashtags #BackTheBBC and #futureofTV. Union members and supporters are tweeting photos of themselves individually, in groups or standing back to back with the messages #BackTheBBC and ‘Ditch the deal #BackTheBBC’. The Thunderclap simultaneous social media event takes place at 6.30pm on April 5. Further information: www.thunderclap.it/projects/39864-backthebbc

BBC Director General Tony Hall / Lord Puttnam BAFTA in conversation event - visit this page for further information.

On 15 March 2016 the Federation of Entertainment Unions’ launched an Alternative White Paper on the future of the BBC. The document is attached to this page. 

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