- Six-day course was designed to teach women how to become camera operators
The BBC has become embroiled in a trans row after a training course created to increase the number of female production staff was opened up to anyone identifying as a woman.
The six-day course, called BBC: Female Self-Shooters, was designed to teach women how to become camera operators – a role that has long been male-dominated in companies across the industry.
An advert shared around the Corporation says of the course: ‘Aimed at female (and those identifying as female) TV producers or those at producer level, who will be in a position to use the acquired skills after the training, e.g. as 2nd camera operators, shooting taster tapes or directing your own self-shot film. If self-shooting camera skills are a barrier to your progress, this is the course for you!’
The cost of the training programme – which is due to be held in Belfast and will teach skills such as ‘storytelling, shooting for the edit and interview essentials’, is fully funded by the BBC.
However, female staff are said to be ‘cross and upset’ that the initiative allows for non-biological women to apply and believe a separate course could be offered for those identifying as women.
A source at the Corporation said: ‘It’s a good thing that the BBC want to increase the number of females doing technical, behind-the-camera jobs, but would it be really too much to ask that the course could just be for women? If a gender balance is needed then the resources should be just for women, not those saying they are women.
‘These things are divisive and of course there is upset.’
The BBC were also lambasted by viewers shortly after the advert was posted on social media.
One user on X, formerly Twitter, said: ‘It’s not just that a male can take a woman’s place, but their presence totally changes the vibe and focus of these courses (I know you know that, just making the point). If they want more trans people involved in production they should address that separately.’
Another user added: ‘So not female only at all then! Glad I’ve cancelled my TV licence!
‘Not wasting my money on this tosh.’
A third posted: ‘Well, they found one way to get around actually hiring women, I guess.’
The BBC was approached for comment.