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> Cheryl receives backlash for hosting R&B podcast, BBC Sounds podcast receives Twitter backlash!
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HausofWillow
post Aug 31 2021, 08:47 PM
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Cheryl has faced backlash online following her announcement that she is hosting a BBC show celebrating and appreciating R&B music. Many detractors are stating that she isn't fit to take on this role, being a white woman who has released predominantly pop music (and with a previous history of racisl abuse - although this was proven in court to not be racially aggrevated).

Tweets such as this have been posted:



Do you think the BBC should have hired Cheryl for this role or should the role have gone to someone you believe is more qualified? Is there method behind the backlash the announcement is receiving?
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HausofWillow
post Aug 31 2021, 08:50 PM
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While I do think there are surely names out there more qualified to comment on the history of R&B music and its impact/cultural legacy, if this show is simply about one person's love for the genre and their favourite songs from it, I can't see how this is a major problem? It'd be great if they had other people involved to discuss their favourites from the genre too so it isn't just a one-woman show and hopefully that is the case if it's being billed as a celebration of the genre?

However, I can see where the other side of the arguement is coming from though. There are artists like Laura Mvula recently doing some of the finest R&B music i've heard in AGES and her voice is going unheard (particularly her comments on Twitter following the release of her album). She would be perfect for something like this, to discuss the influences behind her music etc but I guess Cheryl was a bigger name for the BBC so they went with her over other (more on paper, logical) choices?
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JosephStyles
post Aug 31 2021, 08:51 PM
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I must admit, I don't really understand the backlash. Perhaps that's my white privilege, but the description suggests the show will simply be Cheryl playing some of her favourite songs from a genre she admires. I don't see why a white person can't be enamoured by R&B and share it with the world? Perhaps it's her privilege that means she was the one asked to do this, but we don't know the circumstances about how this show came around.

Twitter's response is making me uncomfortable as "be kind" doesn't seem to extend as far as Cheryl at any point, and it never has. She's often chastised for things that aren't a big deal (see: miming when that's been a massive thing in pop music for ages before she went solo lol). Her criminal conviction is being brought up despite being almost 20 years ago and proven not to be racially aggravated, as if she should be grateful she still has a career. It's uncomfortable reading when all she's doing is hosting a podcast about songs she enjoys...
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HausofWillow
post Aug 31 2021, 08:56 PM
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This is an interesting take. The UK doesn't really have its BIG female artists of black or Asian origin unless I have forgotten some? I disagree with the poster about this being a reason to not consider some of the less successful names taking up the position however (such as Mvula, Burke, Jamelia, Alesha Dixon, Leona etc al)
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JosephStyles
post Aug 31 2021, 09:01 PM
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I think that's part of a wider conversation really and one that's absolutely worth having, but I'm not convinced it's much to do with this podcast. Do you have to make the music you comment on? Do you have to be from the same backgrounds as the music you enjoy? Perhaps that helps if you're delving into the history of the genre but it's important to distinguish between the intentions of this podcast, and going by the description, this one involves nothing more than appreciating R&B music.
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HausofWillow
post Aug 31 2021, 09:05 PM
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QUOTE(JosephStyles @ Aug 31 2021, 10:01 PM) *
I think that's part of a wider conversation really and one that's absolutely worth having, but I'm not convinced it's much to do with this podcast. Do you have to make the music you comment on? Do you have to be from the same backgrounds as the music you enjoy? Perhaps that helps if you're delving into the history of the genre but it's important to distinguish between the intentions of this podcast, and going by the description, this one involves nothing more than appreciating R&B music.

Oh yeah completely agree! If this is simply one person's love for a genre of music, it shouldn't matter what background that person has as long as they are well-versed and passionate about the music they are discussing! If it's more an education/historical podcast then perhaps they should reconsider who they have presenting it?
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Frenchie
post Aug 31 2021, 09:13 PM
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I understand how the big issue here seems to be the lack of non-white representation of woman in the music industry in the UK, hence why there might not have been a prominent black artist to host a podcast of this style. However blaming the white woman like Cheryl seems a bit unfair as it's in no way their fault and anyone is free to enjoy RnB music and hence make a podcast on it.

It is crazy that the UK has no successful female black pop stars though. I wonder if the root of the issue is with the music labels not wanting to take chances with them.
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Liam.k.
post Aug 31 2021, 09:58 PM
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Twitter will literally find anything to be outraged about won't they? :')
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Liam.k.
post Aug 31 2021, 11:17 PM
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I'm just not interested in that sort of segregation. Music is about escapism and unifying people no matter who they are. I simply cannot comprehend the sort of thought process that one must have to jump to such bizarre conclusions, but it's definitely not one I want to have.

Cheryl was tried in front of a court and apologised profusely, I don't see why she should still have to apologise nearly 20 years on for one stupid decision she made as a teenager.
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JackTheeStallion
post Aug 31 2021, 11:30 PM
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actually f*** it cba ✨❤️
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-Jay-
post Sep 1 2021, 12:36 AM
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Hmm.

I wonder if Cheryl will acknowledge any of this backlash about the podcast? It's become a bit of a PR disaster.

I also wonder about the commissioning of this podcast. I mean, could this actually have been an idea from Cheryl that she brought forward to BBC because of her passion for the genre? Or did BBC have this idea and overlooked black artists in favour of asking Cheryl to front it? I feel like there's a difference there.

I do recall over the years that she's mentioned loving R&B music, and that it was more her thing than Girls Aloud's music. Apparently she only speaks for roughly 5 minutes throughout the hour long podcast, which would suggest that the music is upfront and centre. If this is a passion of hers, and she wanted to celebrate the genre in this programme... if that's the intention, this doesn't seem like a bad thing to me. I get the impression that this show isn't her claiming to be an expert about the genre, its history and culture. It's just seems that it's her playing songs she apparently really loves, nothing deeper.

I absolutely get where people are coming from in the sense that there are certainly black artists who do get overlooked and mistreated in this industry. Clearly a prevalent and ongoing problem. Whether this podcast really typifies this issue, I'm not so convinced. Though I stress that I'm not saying that others are wrong for finding it offensive or tone deaf, and I'm not saying I'm right either, it's just my point of view.
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ThePensmith
post Sep 1 2021, 05:59 AM
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I listened to the first episode out of curiosity over the weekend - Jay's right, her overall talking time is about 5 minutes to 55 minutes or thereabouts of actual music. I believe it's meant to - unless the BBC do an about turn between then in light of this backlash - be on BBC Sounds first and then start airing weekly on Radio 2 from October time.

I must admit even as a Girls Aloud and Cheryl fan, I did raise an eyebrow, not because Cheryl's love of R&B could ever be called into question (anyone who's been a fan from the start knows how much she loves it), but because I had a funny feeling this was the kind of response it was likely to generate on social media.

And especially having watched Leigh Anne Pinnock's documentary recently about her experiences with racism in the industry - and others, Alexandra Burke, Keisha Buchanan - I understand what is being said, and it is absolutely true about lack of representation and mistreatment from within the industry and how it needs to change.

Equally, I do think some context needs to be drawn here. It's almost as if people have made their minds up and have decided to be angry about it before listening to it and giving it a chance and hearing what it actually is. It's not claiming to be the Bible on R&B. It's just someone expressing their love of the music, something which, surely, crosses all boundaries regardless of backgrounds?

People also seem to be forgetting that the BBC does have a long tradition of DJs on their main stations who are curators of R&B and soul music - Trevor Nelson most notably, who stills hosts his Rhythm Nation show on Radio 2, and I remember listening to his R&B show on Sunday nights on Radio 1 when I was growing up in the late 90s/early 00s. DJ Target and Diplo also host equivalent shows for Radio 1 today.

Surely it stands to reason that if you are looking for a radio show about R&B and soul music with authority to listen to that you would seek those shows out?
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spiceboy
post Sep 1 2021, 07:48 AM
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I don’t get this thing about the lack of black singers Gabrielle was successful for years then Jamelia, Leona, Alexandra, Celeste, Mutya, Emeli Sande, Ms Dynamite, Mis-Teeq, Alesha, Corinne Bailey Rae, Estelle, Beverley Knight, Heather Small, Mica Paris, Mel B, Shaznay Lewis, Eternal, Cleopatra, JLS, Simon Webbe, Tinie Tempah, Stormzy, Goldie… off the top of my head.

If we are really having this conversation let’s talk about the lack of / non-existence of Asian or Chinese British singers… that never ever gets mentioned?

I do understand about Cheryl probably not being the best person for this show and it would make much more sense / be more appropriate to have an actual RnB singer, however I thinks it unfair and actually racist to say that a white girl is not allowed to express an appreciation for another music genre which is what is being said here. Also to bring up previous convictions of which she was found not to be racist and paint it as if she was is is grossly unfair.
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k👠th
post Sep 1 2021, 09:33 AM
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People and keyboard warriors doing the most as usual
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dannjohn
post Sep 1 2021, 12:38 PM
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i think its mad that anyone thinks Cheryl needs to address something that happened 17 years ago? She made a stupid mistake, she has learned from it. its probably a good job there's backlash against this Cheryl discussing R&B as I can't imagine any actually cares?
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T Boy
post Sep 1 2021, 05:42 PM
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Good Lord, not even page two and we’re taking about ‘segregation’ and ‘racist against white people’. A Buzzjack low and I see you.

On the surface there is nothing wrong with Cheryl or any other white person talking about their love of RnB music. However, whoever chose Cheryl to do this (I doubt she came up with the idea herself) is one of the most tone deaf people of recent times. I know the assault is ancient history and possibly not racially motivated, but at the end of the day mud sticks and someone with that in their history is poor choice regardless of what anyone thinks. There are plenty of British black artists that could have been asked (see list above) and yet they weren’t. Why? But it’s also impossible to declare that any of those artists are considered the British Beyoncé, Rihanna or Mary J Blige. Again, why aren’t they? Another discussion in itself.
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JosephStyles
post Sep 1 2021, 05:55 PM
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To be fair, we literally don't know how it came about. For all we know, the BBC asked Cheryl to host a podcast knowing she has a fanbase that will listen, and Cheryl chose to do it on R&B music. Alternatively, the BBC could have picked Cheryl for the R&B podcast they'd already decided should happen. We literally don't know and assuming either way is probably causing this whole debate in the first place. We know for sure either way though that the problem isn't actually Cheryl - if it was her idea, it's literally a person talking about the music they like, and if it was the BBC's idea, it's their problem for not considering a black artist first (and I'd fully expect them to do that if they were making a podcast about the history and impact of R&B, not just one person's personal favourites).

There's a lot of misinformation going around and the conviction keeps coming up but something that was so long ago and proven in court not to be racially motivated shouldn't be relevant here IMO.
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T Boy
post Sep 1 2021, 06:04 PM
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It doesn’t matter whose idea it was. It’s a bad one, plain and simple. It it is not for us to be deciding what factors are relevant to how people feel about the matter.
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Billy.
post Sep 1 2021, 06:05 PM
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QUOTE(JosephStyles @ Sep 1 2021, 06:55 PM) *
To be fair, we literally don't know how it came about. For all we know, the BBC asked Cheryl to host a podcast knowing she has a fanbase that will listen, and Cheryl chose to do it on R&B music. Alternatively, the BBC could have picked Cheryl for the R&B podcast they'd already decided should happen. We literally don't know and assuming either way is probably causing this whole debate in the first place. We know for sure either way though that the problem isn't actually Cheryl - if it was her idea, it's literally a person talking about the music they like, and if it was the BBC's idea, it's their problem for not considering a black artist first (and I'd fully expect them to do that if they were making a podcast about the history and impact of R&B, not just one person's personal favourites).

There's a lot of misinformation going around and the conviction keeps coming up but something that was so long ago and proven in court not to be racially motivated shouldn't be relevant here IMO.


I just don’t think you’re grasping the point at all though? Regardless of how it came about, whether an R&B podcast was created and given ( and accepted by) to Cheryl, or she herself came up with the idea, is it not still a bit disappointing that an already underrepresented demographic was sidelined? As someone mentioned, there are many UK R&B artists who could front this show, yet the fact that Cheryl was the choice to present this is just weird. In my opinion anyway.
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JosephStyles
post Sep 1 2021, 06:09 PM
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QUOTE(Billy. @ Sep 1 2021, 07:05 PM) *
I just don’t think you’re grasping the point at all though? Regardless of how it came about, whether an R&B podcast was created and given ( and accepted by) to Cheryl, or she herself came up with the idea, is it not still a bit disappointing that an already underrepresented demographic was sidelined? As someone mentioned, there are many UK R&B artists who could front this show, yet the fact that Cheryl was the choice to present this is just weird. In my opinion anyway.

But this is my question - why does it have to be a black person or an actual R&B artist who presents a show about R&B music? That's why the backlash is so confusing to me. It's one person playing music they like.

As I said above, there's definitely a bigger conversation to be had about black female representation within UK R&B, and a necessary conversation at that, but I'm not sure this podcast is where the issue lies? idk.
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