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Samira Ahmed resigns

(43 Posts)
MisterDarsey Sun 12-Jun-11 12:01:31

Sorry to give you yet another thing to get pissed off about but I was truly gobsmacked by this

Channel 4 presenter quits after bosses say: Your hair's scruffy

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 12-Jun-11 12:06:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DirtyMartini Sun 12-Jun-11 12:09:07


WTF - Channel 4 is my evening news of choice but that is just awful, awful. I like her a lot and am really disappointed.

It sounds like they were treating her like a toddler. I know it's the Mail so maybe not a totally reliable account but still, really amazing.

snowmama Sun 12-Jun-11 12:10:18

That is awful, and it is because she refused to blowdry it straight:..argh that has depressed me on several levels.

snowmama Sun 12-Jun-11 12:10:53

That is awful, and it is because she refused to blowdry it straight:..argh that has depressed me on several levels.

karmakameleon Sun 12-Jun-11 12:11:12

Awful. I'm another one who like Channel 4 news because it had lots of women and ethnic minority presenters. Just shows you never know what goes on behind the scenes.

snowmama Sun 12-Jun-11 12:11:35

Sorry don't know why that double posted...

DirtyMartini Sun 12-Jun-11 12:12:57

Whatever happened to Sue Turton, who used to be one of the other (secondary, I think) presenters there? She seems to have gone a while ago too, but I never learned where.

I was watching when she got groped by a passer-by during a live report from Oxfordshire when it was flooded a year or two back.

dittany Sun 12-Jun-11 12:15:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

snowmama Sun 12-Jun-11 12:19:08

Yep, dittany...just a little reminder to all non white women, if you think your natural curly hair is isn't.

dittany Sun 12-Jun-11 12:20:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vesuvia Sun 12-Jun-11 12:21:12

DirtyMartini wrote - "when she got groped by a passer-by during a live report"

Oh. My. Gawd.

dittany Sun 12-Jun-11 12:22:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

snowmama Sun 12-Jun-11 12:29:10

She should sue, it is just unacceptable....

sunshineandbooks Sun 12-Jun-11 12:29:32


There really is a massive backlash going on at the moment I agree dittany.

I keep clinging to the hope that it's because feminism is getting its message out there and the patriarchy are feeling threatened.

dittany Sun 12-Jun-11 12:34:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SpeedyGonzalez Sun 12-Jun-11 12:39:05

I've been wondering why this should happen now after 11 years on the programme. Then I remembered that C4 has recently had a change of senior management, which might explain it.

I can't see any racial element to this story, though. It's just about hair. Which is narrow-minded and absurd. But white people have curly hair, too.

It's worth pointing out that C4 is the only broadcaster to my knowledge which funds training for ethnic minority students to train in news production. It's a brilliant scheme. And Ahmed may well have been one of their graduates.

sunshineandbooks Sun 12-Jun-11 12:50:54

It all hinges on anger doesn't it. Anger is what is needed to keep plugging away at it. Passion and enthusiasm can only carry you so far before you become so disillusioned you give up. I find it quite hard to stay angry (whether that's personality or social conditioning I don't know, maybe both), but that's why I love this section. It fires me up again.

When I first started using MN a few years ago I'll be honest that I found you (dittany) to be quite intimidating and I thought you were a very angry person. But you made an impression on me and you got me thinking, and I have you to thank for my coming to feminism. When i got shit on by a man and started looking at all the DV threads and threads about division of domestic chores, your posts stood out and gave me the validation I needed. That's what pulled me into this section. And then I realised that I have been brought up to believe that angry women are somehow 'wrong' in a way that doesn't seem to apply to men, and not only that, but also that anger is a good thing if it's in response to something that is unfair.

I don't even notice your anger any more - but I do get accused of being quite angry myself these days. grin

snowmama Sun 12-Jun-11 12:53:41

Amen, Dittany,

Speedy there is lots out there on the significance of race and hair. The basic premise being the long straight haired blonde being the most acceptable/beautiful, so the further away you are from this 'ideal' you are the more unacceptable/scruffy you are. Watch Chris Rocks (ironically) Good Hair for an example of how it can affect women's psyches.

sunshineandbooks Sun 12-Jun-11 12:55:02

Channel 4 News said it ‘did not recognise this version of events’ leading up to Miss Ahmed’s departure. It said it was ‘focused on the fantastic new appointments to our presenting line-up’.

No doubt the 'fantastic' new line-up will be male. After all, they won't have to worry about scruffy hair then. hmm

SpeedyGonzalez Sun 12-Jun-11 13:00:04

snowmama, I've seen Good Hair. And have nearly 40 years of experience of living with natural (i.e. unstraightened) afro hair. So I know a thing or two about this! grin

It has always bemused me that every time I've watched C4 news over the past 15 or so years they've had mostly male presenters. Their production team, on the other hand, has a lot of women - including senior production staff. So I don't understand why the face of the programme is so male compared with the other mainstream news programmes in the market. As much as I'd like to believe there is not sex discrimination on C4 News, they are not helping themselves.

snowmama Sun 12-Jun-11 13:06:10

Speedy, Sorry! Making

....but why would you ask about white women having curly hair too? I do blowdry my Afro hair so have zero moral authority here...

sunshineandbooks Sun 12-Jun-11 13:07:26

I think on all news channels there is sex discrimination. I am always struck about how perfectly coiffed and co-ordinated the women presenters are whereas I don't even notice what the men wear because they all stick to the same dark suits. And while many of the female presenters may not be supermodel types, they are all more attractive than most. I never noticed any of this before feminism.

sunshineandbooks Sun 12-Jun-11 13:08:49

Sorry for multiple posts but another thought: the move from presenter to reporter also seems to happen a lot with older female presenters, whereas the men get offered the anchor slot.

SpeedyGonzalez Sun 12-Jun-11 13:22:15

No worries, snowmama! But get yohself a 'fro, sistah! wink grin

I was stating that since curly hair is not exclusive to brown-skinned folks, and since the report states that C4's objection was only against her hair, there is no evidence so far that the clash between Ahmed and C4/ITN is about anything other than hair (forgetting for just a moment the apparent pro-male bias).

I then went on to say that C4 has an excellent track record of recruiting brown folks to train in news, which further contradicts the claims on this thread that this is an act of racism.

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