BBC may scrap ‘Rule Britannia’ from Last Night of the Proms over colonialism links
BBC organisers are reportedly considering the move amid debate over the anthems’ themes of slavery and colonialism
The Sunday Times reports that the BBC is discussing whether to remove the traditional anthems from the show, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Both performances typically involve much flag waving from attendees. However, organisers are apparently wondering whether to scrap them due to the anthems’ perceived association with slavery and colonialism.
Finnish conductor Dalia Stasevska, who will perform on the Last Night, is among those reportedly keen to tone down the more overtly patriotic elements and give it a modern update.
A spokeswoman for BBC Proms said: “We are still finalising arrangements for the Last Night of the Proms so that we are able to respond to the latest advice in regards to Covid-19 and deliver the best offering possible for audiences.”
Regardless of whether the anthems are dropped, the BBC Proms 2020 will be noticeably different to previous years.
The majority of the 2020 Proms season will be made up from highlights from the BBC archive. Two weeks of live shows will take place at The Royal Albert Hall from Friday 28 August.
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