A recent research commissioned by the BBC has raised concerns around how young and old are portrayed in our screens. Both ends of the scale believe that they are both mis or under-represented, and because this includes BBC shows, we are all paying for this through our TV licence.
At one end of the scale, youngsters believe they are being represented as either heads-on-the-cloud, good-for-nothing, naive, superficial people, or with a more sinister angle, engaged in drinking, anti-social behaviour, rioting. On the other side, elderly ladies are nowhere to be seen. Whilst a George Clooney-like silver fox sells well, professional women over 50 seem to disappear from the screen, as if they were victims of some sort of macabre elimination game. Experienced, poised, talented professionals, often at the peak of their game, are regularly assumed not to be in touch with the latest thinking and the in crowd, and pushed aside to make room for a new wave.
Like it or not, our TV screens bear a reflection of the unspoken rules and value system underlying our society. We have normalised attitudes that are wrong. So, to change the behaviour we must change the value, so when we see life through a lens it won’t be such a distorted image after all.