Caitlin Moran: We need better representation of working class people on TV – as “human beings” not “animals”

Considering the significance television has in many people's lives, it needs to show us richer, more diverse characters says the Raised by Wolves writer

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Caitlin Moran says working class people are still underrepresented in British television and culture and that even when they do appear they’re often treated more like “animals” than “human beings”.

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Speaking in the new issue of Radio Times magazine, the columnist and author – whose autobiographical comedy series Raised by Wolves returns for a second run on Channel 4 next week – says we need to be shown more working class characters who are real, rounded people.

“The lack of working-class people in culture at the moment is notable,” says Moran. “And when they are represented… Take [Channel 4 documentary series] Benefits Street. It’s the only time I’ve seen people on benefits on television, but you didn’t get to hear them talking about their ideas on philosophy or politics, you didn’t get to see them being joyful – it was simply about surviving, and that made them look like animals. It didn’t show them as human beings, so that’s what we wanted to do with Raised by Wolves.” 

The comedy, which Moran writes with her sister Caz, is based on their childhood in a family with many siblings where for the early part of their lives they were home schooled, which meant TV and other forms of culture constituted an important extra element in their education – even if a lack of diversity was also evident then too.

“We were raised by culture – we didn’t go to school, we didn’t have any friends, so TV, films, books and magazines formed our entire world view, as they do for many people, so it’s important that there’s a proper representation in there, and that everybody gets to feel normal,” says Moran. “There was no-one who looks like me or Caz on TV until we made this show, and if I was of colour or had a disability or a different sexuality I just wouldn’t even bother turning on the television, because you feel invisible.”

Raised by Wolves returns to Channel 4 on Wednesday 2nd March at 10pm

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Read the full interviews with Caitlin and Caz Moran in the new issue of Radio Times magazine, on sale now