BBC sources suggest that a significant factor in the decision was awareness of the controversy stirred by Seven Jewish Children during its theatre run and the fact that the BBC has only recently survived the onslaught of criticism for its refusal to broadcast the Gaza appeal. In an email seen by the Guardian, Radio 4's drama commissioning editor Jeremy Howe said that he and Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer thought Churchill's play was a "brilliant piece".Update (17.03.09): The Guild has issued a press release expressing concern over the BBC's decision.
But Howe wrote: "It is a no, I am afraid. Both Mark [Damazer, Radio 4 controller] and I think it is a brilliant piece, but after discussing it with editorial policy we have decided we cannot run with it on the grounds of impartiality – I think it would be nearly impossible to run a drama that counters Caryl Churchill's view. Having debated long and hard we have decided we can't do Seven Jewish Children."
Monday, March 16, 2009
According to a report by Ben Dowell in The Guardian, BBC Radio 4 has rejected an unsolicited manuscript of Caryl Churchill's recent play Seven Jewish Children over fears that it would compromise the corporation's impartiality.