BBC accused of pushing ‘PC agenda’ with rainbow flag-waving rendition of ‘Rule, Britannia’
Television viewers across the UK tuned in to watch the Last Night of the Proms – the climax of the eight-week classical music festival – in what has traditionally been a showcase of British patriotism and culture. But this year’s concert featured a provocative twist: The mezzo-soprano who accompanied the orchestra hoisted a rainbow ‘pride’ flag as she sang the British classic, ‘Rule, Britannia.’
Jamie Barton, an American singer and self-professed “queer girl with a nose ring,” said that she unfurled the flag during her performance because she wanted to make “a very clear statement of Pride.”
"We are witnessing something rather remarkable," Radio 3’s Petroc Trelawney said during Barton’s performance. “That moment an audience falls in love with a singer.”
But judging from reactions on Twitter, the concert was deeply divisive, with many of the furious comments being directed at the event’s organizer – the BBC.
One disappointed viewer wrote that Last Night used to be a “celebration for the British people,” but has now been “hijacked by politically motivated virtue signalers.”
What the hell has happened to the Last Night? It used to be a celebration for the British people, but has been hijacked by politically motivated virtue signallers. Sadly, I will not be watching again.— Chris Leigh 🇬🇧 (@Chris_Leigh_UK) September 15, 2019
The fact that this event was always a celebration of British culture and patriotism really pains the BBC. They just had to put a spanner in the works. I will not be watching next year.— Lord Muckington (@LordMuckington) September 15, 2019
Others lamented that the BBC’s “PC agenda” ruined the event, and said they would not be tuning in next year. A handful of particularly enraged netizens vowed to never again pay their TV license fee.
You mean, here's the big propaganda moment for the biased #BBC to swing into action with its relentless PC agendaGod forbid if Britishness, greatness, history, Empire were allowed to take centre stage Disgraceful coverage. BBC hit new lows.— Sunflower (@dhakarog) September 15, 2019
I’m saddened that @bbcproms would allow any sort of political and flag waving protests or expressions, at a fabulous traditional musical evening. Tarnished the evening for me— Chocolate Babe (@teenyween3) September 14, 2019
Cancel your TV licence today— Chris Reeves (@CMREEVES) September 15, 2019
This wasn’t the concert’s only flag-related controversy, however. Remain campaigners urged audience members to wave EU flags during the event – leading to more finger-pointing at the BBC.
“Brussels Broadcasting Corporation doing what it does best,” one Twitter user joked.
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