The Left Unity Party believes Channel 4’s Bebefits Street show is demonising residents and putting them at risk and has called on the channel to take it off air, apologise and not to show the remaining episodes of Benefits Street after residents had to be moved to safe houses because of online death threats.
The street, which is really called James Turner Street, has been subjected to a barrage of hate on Twitter because of the show. Left Unity believes this is now putting residents’ safety at risk.
Bianca Todd of Left Unity said: “This TV show has twisted the facts to demonise the people who live on this street to the point where they no longer feel safe in their own homes.
“Channel 4 should stop broadcasting the show immediately and issue a full apology to everyone in it.”
The death threats on Twitter included:
– a threat to “set fire to #benefitstreet”
– a threat to “walk down #benefitstreet with a baseball bat and brain these scum bags”
– “terminate all the scroungers, gas them in their sleep”
The Daily Mirror reported that Channel 4 has moved some locals to safe houses, and quoted local resident Kate Dudek, 27, saying: “Since it was on TV, there have been so any people coming up and down. I have a seven-year-old daughter who I don’t let out any more because I feel it isn’t safe.”
Left Unity’s Salman Shaheen said: “This week we found out that the 85 richest people in the world have as much wealth as half its population.
“It is not people on benefits who should be the target of our anger – it is the super-rich.