Residents of Derby Road in Southampton have told Channel 4 producers to “get out” of their community, urging the controversial and upcoming series Immigration Street to be scrapped.
The residents expressed their anger over the situation at a community meeting which took place yesterday at Maytree Primary School, demanding filming to come to an end immediately.
In attendance of the meeting was Kieran Smith, Love Productions’ creative director, who faced boos upon entering the room. Mr Smith was quick to expose the positive outcomes of filming however, saying that residents would be able to view the footage before it airs. A spokesperson told The Independent that:
“Anyone who does not want to be in the series won’t be but we intend to continue to film with residents who are very happy to share their experience of living on Derby Road.”
The anger that has emerged is said to have stemmed from the residents of James Turner Street who appeared on Benefits Street. After the series aired, they felt that they were misrepresented despite being promised that their community would be shown in a positive light.
Because of this, Southampton residents have expressed their own scepticism concerning how their community will be portrayed to viewers. Some residents even accused Love Productions of “inciting racism” in their community. Mr Smith denied these allegations as he said:
“We are not cherry-picking vulnerable individuals and we are not here to cause racial tension.”
It is not just the residents who oppose the filming, as Local Labour MP Alan Whitehead has also expressed unfavourable views towards the series, having urged Love Productions to scrap the plans when they were proposed. After the meeting he said:
“I think the meeting showed that this company has picked the wrong community. Residents have said they want nothing to do with this and they really ought to listen to that.”
The series is due to air next year, and Channel 4 have confirmed that filming will continue despite the anger expressed by the residents.