Earlier this year, it was announced that Channel 4 would be following up their documentary “Benefits Street” with a sequel called “Immigrants Street”. Benefits Street caused a lot of controversy when it was shown due to the way it’s portrayal of the residents of James Turner Street in Birmingham. This new documentary has the potential to be even more inflammatory. The Daily Mail and the rest of the right wing press will already be rubbing their hands together at the prospect, as will UKIP.
After the announcement that Immigrants Street would be filmed in Southampton there have been public meetings held locally for residents to express their opposition to the show amid fears the programme will be racist and won’t fairly portray those featuring.
Filming is now underway and it seems one group of residents was keen to demonstrate to the production company that they were not welcome. The Southern Daily Echo reports that:
Police are investigating after a TV crew filming the controversial Immigration Street series in Southampton were pelted with eggs and flour.
Members of the Love Productions team were filming outside a shop in Derby Road when they were targeted by a gang of youths.
Members of Newtown Residents’ Association said the crew ran off.
Obviously this behaviour shouldn’t be condoned, but it’s indicative of the growing opposition to the ‘poverty porn’ genre. People are wise to the motives of these programme makers, and they don’t like it. While it’s perfectly possible that Immigrants Street could be a sensitive portrayal of newly arrived immigrants trying to make a new life in Britain, but previous experience must suggest the opposite.