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BBC receives 500 complaints over BLM tribute in NYE fireworks display

Tom Butler
·Senior Editor
·1-min read
The BBC received 500 complaints over a New Year’s Eve fireworks display which included a tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement (Victoria Jones/PA)
The BBC received 500 complaints over a New Year’s Eve fireworks display which included a tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement (Victoria Jones/PA)

The BBC received 500 complaints over a New Year’s Eve fireworks display which included a tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The broadcaster’s internal regulator released its latest fortnightly report, covering the festive period.

It said it received 500 complaints about the Happy New Year Live! programme, and the main issue for those who contacted the BBC was “Unhappy the New Year fireworks display referenced ‘Black Lives Matter’.”

During the broadcast, viewers watched as drones were used to create the clenched-fist symbol in the sky.

Read more: Norton shares ‘bonus’ of leaving BBC

The symbol became linked with the Black Lives Matter movement amid the worldwide protests which followed the death of Minnesota man George Floyd in police custody in May.

The BBC received 500 complaints over a New Year’s Eve fireworks display which included a tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement (Jonathan Brady/PA)
The BBC received 500 complaints over a New Year’s Eve fireworks display which included a tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The London fireworks display also included tributes to the NHS and notable figures from the year of COVID-19.

Captain Sir Tom Moore, who raised millions of pounds for the NHS by walking in his back garden, was among those honoured.

The latest report from the BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit also revealed it had received 289 complaints about a pre-Christmas episode of The Vicar of Dibley.

Those complaints were focused on a reference to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Dawn French’s Reverend Geraldine Granger took the knee and delivered a sermon about the anti-racism movement in a lockdown special of the popular comedy.