Actors threaten to boycott BBC over Gaza aid appeal ban

Actor Samantha Morton has vowed to reject future BBC work if the broadcaster does not transmit an emergency appeal for help in Gaza.

Her promise to boycott the Corporation has prompted other actors and directors to follow suit, with Tam Dean Burn, who was in the BBC’s Scottish soap River City, leading a group who have written to the Corporation criticising its decision not to broadcast the appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee.

Morton, speaking last night at a fund-raising event for the British Aid Agency Medical Aid for Palestinians, said she was “shocked and appalled” by the BBC’s decision.

“I’ve worked for the BBC since I was a small child. As a public service they’ve got it very wrong. I’m not as articulate about this as I would like to be because I’m so appalled. I will never work for the BBC again unless they change their mind,” she said.

Burn, in a letter to BBC director general Mark Thompson, which was also signed by writer and performer Pauline Goldmsith, and actors Peter Mullan and Alison Peebles, said he was “absolutely appalled at the decision by the BBC to refuse to broadcast the DEC appeal for Gaza”.

“We therefore are taking what action we can in protest at this decision by stating, like our fellow actor, Samantha Morton, we will never work for the BBC again unless this disgraceful decision is reversed. We will urge others from our profession and beyond to do likewise,” he said.

Burn also said he would stop paying his licence fee money in protest.

In a statement today, Thompson said the BBC had decided not to broadcast the appeal because it could reduce “public confidence in the BBC’s impartiality in its wider coverage of the story”.

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