29 Aug 2020
David Harewood & BBC team up for ‘Race, Coronavirus And Me’
Black people in England and Wales are two to three times more likely to die of Covid-19 than white people (ONS Report). In Race, Coronavirus And Me (w/t), black British actor David Harewood sets out to investigate the reasons for this disparity in death rates between white and black and other minority ethnic patients, and to discover what the pandemic really tells us about health inequality in modern Britain.
In 2019 David featured in BBC One documentary David Harewood: Psychosis And Me, where he opened up about the psychotic breakdown he had in his twenties. With the risk of psychotic disorders up to five times greater for people from ethnic minorities, David now wants to find out why Covid-19 is also taking a disproportionate toll on black British and ethnic minority communities.
David Harewood says:
“Covid-19 has had a profound impact on the whole of the UK but it has left a particularly devastating footprint in the lives of many black and other ethnic minority communities across the country, taking the lives of loved ones and relatives in shocking numbers. In this documentary I set out to understand the real reasons why this is happening and what can be done about it.”
Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Science and Natural History, says: “The statistics are truly shocking and it’s vital we try to understand what lies behind them. With his intelligence, integrity and lived experience of health inequality, David is the perfect person to investigate this issue in a major new film for BBC One.”
Sreya Biswas, Commissioning Editor, says: “Health inequalities have existed silently for a long time in Britain, but the Coronavirus pandemic has opened a pandora’s box where the shocking situation cannot be ignored any longer. The high rate of deaths among black, asian and minority ethnic people has to be discussed. David Harewood, as a black man of Afro-Caribbean descent, has seen his community hit the hardest and he wants to know why.”
Throughout the programme David will meet some of the country’s top medical researchers and doctors, who are examining the role genetic, environmental and social conditions play in determining health outcomes for black and other minority ethnic groups. He will meet the families who have lost loved ones to Covid-19 or to other health conditions that disproportionally affect the black community, and the front line workers whose jobs have left them more exposed to infection.
Race, Coronavirus And Me, a 1×60’ for BBC One, is made by Twenty Twenty. It was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director, BBC Content and Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Science and Natural History. The Executive Producer is Emily Shields and the Director is Jason Barnard. The Commissioning Editor is Sreya Biswas.