Charlene White highlights diversity issues in TV as she teaches children about racism in new ITV show

IRL with Team Charlene is aimed at informing young audiences about race and prejudice.

Charlene White

Journalist and Loose Women panelist Charlene White is turning her attention to a younger audience as she brings new show IRL with Team Charlene to ITV and CITV on 3rd October.

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The brand new studio show is aimed at informing and explaining racism to young audiences. With animation, music from young talented musicians, films and honest discussion, the format aims to begin to cover all the relevant questions on racism.

One of the areas Charlene pointed out is struggling when it comes to race is the TV industry.

When asked about whether diversity in the industry is improving, she said: “I think we are getting there. I don’t think it’s ideal at all. One known issue within TV is that those who are the decision makers don’t tend to come from the cultural areas that they broadcast to.”

She continued: “So class is an issue with telly as well as race being an issue. I think we are reaching a point in time where those things can’t be ignored anymore.”

Giving praise to streaming site Netflix, she added: “When you look at Netflix and the slate of Black programming over the years, I think that’s a good example of where embracing diversity has produced some incredible content.”

Charlene is hoping to involve young people in conversations about race with her new ITV show, admitting the thought is often that children are “too young” to hear about such issues.

She insists this isn’t the case, with one of the show’s contributors experiencing racism from as young as five.

She explained: “We have a wonderful cartoon and a real-life story from a little girl who talks about when she first experienced racism at five-years-old and we thought it’d be a great way to get that message across.

“Anytime anybody has watched it there’s just a stunned silence because I think the assumption people have had before is that kids are far too young to learn about things like this, but if black children at five-years-old are being racially abused through words by other children then they’re not far too young.”

IRL with Team Charlene
IRL with Team Charlene

Charlene is therefore calling on parents to sit down and watch IRL with Team Charlene with their children and have conversations afterwards, insisting “we have a responsibility to educate them.”

“A lot of non-Black parents say, ‘Oh my children don’t see colour!’ and they just don’t understand that that one line is just not true. I would love parents to watch it with their children and have a conversation with their children.I think if we pretend that things don’t exist then nothing will change.”

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IRL With Team Charlene will air 9:05am onSaturday 3rd October across CITV & ITV. The full programme will be available on the ITV Hub. Check out what else is on with our TV Guide.