• Emily Prescott

The Londoner: We can’t hire you, black TV presenter was told


TV presenter Leah Charles-King says a “black doesn’t sell” narrative continues behind the scenes in TV as she reveals she was once calmly told by an executive “you’re incredibly talented … but we can’t hire you because you’re black”.


“The delivery wasn’t nasty, it was just matter of fact,” she told the Londoner, adding “they believed the British public were generally too racist to accept black presenters in prominent roles because viewers wouldn’t watch”.


Charles-King, who has presented and appeared on ITV, the BBC and MTV among others, said when she worked for CITV “I immediately noticed the tokenism as I was the only black person on camera. As a whole there was only one other black person in the company”.


She said there was “a double deficit” when she started with a lack of female presenters and a lack of black women. “There’s been a massive improvement on seeing more female presenters in general but this hasn’t really included black women as a whole.”


She continued: “I’m sharing my experiences because I know I’m not the only one, which is now being proven as more people speak out.”

Time for TV to get its house in order.

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