Cheryl’s new R&B show slammed as ‘tone deaf’ as fans question BBC on host choice

Ex-Girls Aloud singer Cheryl has been criticised after announcing a new podcast called You, Me, & R&B.

Cheryl announced the news on Instagram last week, writing: "I’ve always had an absolute love and passion for R&B and I’m so excited to share my new show You, Me, & R&B with you on @bbcsounds."

In the audio podcast, Cheryl explores her favourite songs from what she believes is "the greatest music genre there’s ever been".

Though some fans are understandably excited about the TV personality coming back with a new show, others have been critical over having Cheryl as the host instead of a person of colour as R&B music mainly comes from ethnic minority communities.

One person wrote: "Really disappointed in @BBCSounds in an age where we are calling for more people of colour, you choose an outdated pop star to present this show and not someone who lives and breathes this music. R&B is so embedded in black music and you chose Cheryl?"

Another Twitter user said: "Honestly? This is so tone-deaf and insulting."

A third said: "@BBCSounds producers ignoring all the black UK artists who could have hosted this show."

Many pointed out that while Cheryl was a big music artist, she largely recorded pop music in both her band and solo career, and therefore does not have much expertise in R&B music.

Several high-profile people commented on the announcement, with comedian London Hughes writing: "I’m not sure why some of you are shocked that Cheryl Cole is doing a Rnb podcast when the biggest soulful singer that we have in the UK is Adele. White women have always been allowed to take up space in UK Black music. Word to Rita Ora, Jess Glynne, Jessie J, Joss Stone etc."

Actress Jameela Jamil also chimed in, saying: "Was there nobody else available who hadn’t beaten a Black woman to the ground while calling her a racial slur (and never apologised) available for a podcast about R&B? Was everyone else taken?"

Jamil was referring to charges filed against Cheryl in the early 2000s, where she was found guilty of assaulting nightclub toilet attendant Sophie Amogbokpa and ordered to pay a £3,000 fine and serve 120 hours of community service as her punishment.

She was cleared of the alleged racist aspect of the assault, and Cheryl has denied using racist language.

A court heard how Cheryl claimed she did not know what some of the words she was alleged to have used even meant.

You, Me & R&B will run for 12 episodes, and is available on BBC Sounds.

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