Naga Munchetty’s new BBC Panorama documentary, Let’s Talk About Race, is the one thing you should catch up with this week.
Naga Munchetty is one of the most incisive, engaging and smartest journalists working in the British media today. In her BBC Breakfast presenting role, she is a vital voice in discussions around sexism and racism in the media.
Take, for instance, the time Munchetty addressed the toxic myth of the “unlikeable” woman. Or when she, quite rightly, corrected a colleague who got her name wrong. And perhaps most famously, the host made headlines when she called out Donald Trump out for telling congresswomen to “go back” to countries they came from.
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BBC Panorama’s Let’s Talk about Race, is a documentary that Munchetty was compelled to do after being left feeling “absolutely furious” by Trump’s racist comments. The murder of George Floyd last year, which led to protests and an amplification of the Black Lives Matters movement, happened while the documentary was made over the last year, and naturally becomes an integral part in Munchetty’s reporting.
It aired on BBC One on Monday 8 March, but you might have missed it as Oprah With Meghan And Harry: A Primetime Special is the only thing people are talking about right now. But you can still catch up with Let’s Talk About Race on BBC iPlayer.
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In the documentary, Munchetty – whose dad was from Mauritius and mum was from India – reflects on her own experiences of racism, including the time she felt a “sense of shame” after her friend called her “the P word” when she was just seven years old. “That first hurt never goes away,” she recalls, before continuing to read out hateful, racist remarks she still faces on the internet.
Munchetty then explores the wider issue around the country, travelling around the UK to speak with people from all corners of the discussions around racism. These include Jason, who “goes out of his way” to make sure his son isn’t stopped by the police just for being Black, and Hermie, who faced hostility in the UK when she arrived as part of the Windrush generation in 1961.
It’s a difficult and emotional watch – but it’s also an informative and essential one. Viewers who tuned in had a lot of praise for the programme…
“An incredibly courageous and worthwhile programme Naga. Thank you for ‘making a start…’” tweeted one viewer.
“Brilliant, moving, educational. Naga, fabulous programme,” added another Twitter user.
And one fan said: “I’m a big fan of Naga Munchetty. She is currently talking about how racism has affected her personally. If get even a sniff of anyone bullying her online, I’ll go postal and root out the bugger. She is a great journalist and feisty lass. I love her!”
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…