Boris Johnson Slams BBC for Bowing Down to Black Lives Matter Pressure
British PM blasts 'wetness' of broadcaster for dropping patriotic songs from BBC Proms
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has slammed the BBC for bowing down to pressure from the Black Lives Matter movement to drop patriotic songs from its traditional Last Night Of The Proms.
PM Johnson accused the state-funded broadcaster of "wetness" after reports that the classic British anthems "Rule, Britannia" and "Land of Hope and Glory" may be scrapped from the BBC Proms following pressure from the far-left Black Lives Matter movement.
As Neon Nettle previously reported, an insider revealed earlier this week that the "unbiased" broadcaster is considering dropping the classic songs from the Last Night concert due to complaints of their apparent links to colonialism and slavery.
Johnson blasted the calls, saying it's time to stop "our cringing embarrassment" about UK history.
"If it is correct... I think it's time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history, about our traditions and about our culture, and we stop this general bout of self-recrimination and wetness," the prime minister told reporters.
"I wanted to get that off my chest," Johnson added, clearly frustrated by the news.
The BBC has now said orchestral versions of the songs, but not the words, will be performed and the Royal Albert Hall event.
Flag-waving crowds will be absent from London's Royal Albert Hall during the 125th annual Last Night of the Proms concert on September 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The concert is still going ahead without an audience but will include "familiar, patriotic elements," the producers claim.
The traditional patriotic anthems are usually belted out by a packed-out audience of flag-waving Brits.
The Sunday Times initially reported the Last Night's Finnish conductor, Dalia Stasevska, is said to believe "a ceremony without an audience is the perfect moment to bring change."
"Dalia is a big supporter of Black Lives Matter," a source added.
The BBC had discussed dropping several traditional songs as Stasevska was "keen to modernize the evening's repertoire and reduce the patriotic elements."
The BBC says it has "yet to agree" on the final program but is aware of the "ongoing debates over race equality" following recent Black Lives Matter protests.
The song Rule, Britannia! includes the line:
"Rule, Britannia! Britannia rules the waves; Britons never, never, never, shall be slaves."
Some senior politicians raised concerns about the reported change, with Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden tweeting that he had raised concerns with the BBC.
Speaking to Sky News, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said he would like to hear the lyrics sung.
"I think what's really important is, if you're looking at this sort of stuff, is that you should be looking to tackle the substance of problems, rather than symbols," he said.
"I think that's a point the prime minister has made very well."