TV boss is preparing a 'social experiment' series featuring 'Karen' stereotypes

TV boss is preparing a 'social experiment' series featuring 'Karen' stereotypes
TV boss is preparing a 'social experiment' series featuring 'Karen' stereotypes

A television production company backed by the BBC has been accused of planning to ridicule a stereotypical class of white, middle-aged women.

Expectation TV, which is owned by the man who was forced to quit as head of BBC1 following a row over mistreatment of the Queen in a documentary, is preparing a ‘social experiment’ series featuring women called Karen.

The name Karen has become derogatively associated with a racist and privileged stereotype – with several social-media and YouTube sites gleefully showing examples of the trope.

In an advert, the production company, run by Peter Fincham, says: ‘Expectation TV are looking for women aged 25-65 named Karen to take part in a fun social experiment for a brand new topical show. 

'If your name is Karen and you have opinions you’d like to share then we want to hear from you!’

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The word ‘opinions’ suggests the producers are attempting to exploit the widespread definition of a ‘Karen’ – which the website Wikipedia describes as ‘a pejorative term for a woman seeming to be entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is normal’.

Expectation TV, which is owned by Peter Fitcham (pictured) is preparing a ‘social experiment’ series featuring women called Karen

Expectation TV, which is owned by Peter Fitcham (pictured) is preparing a ‘social experiment’ series featuring women called Karen

Pushy: Snooty Karen Marsden from Cold Feet, played by Hermione Norris (right)

Pushy: Snooty Karen Marsden from Cold Feet, played by Hermione Norris (right)

A defining visual feature of a ‘Karen’ is supposedly her hairstyle. It is seen as an outdated, inverted bob or an asymmetric fringe – typical of the 1990s or early 2000s – with lots of volume, plenty of hair spray and ill-placed layers. 

Also, the hair looks as if it has been coloured blonde too many times.

One of the best known is the pushy, snooty, judgmental publisher Karen Marsden, played by Hermione Norris in the hit TV series Cold Feet.

Critics – and many women called Karen – fear the Expectation TV series will be sexist and ageist and attack those who simply have a strong sense of right and wrong.

INSULTING STEREOTYPES BEHIND THE KAREN SLUR 

The disparaging term ‘Karen’ became mainstream last summer – principally in the US – in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, to describe self-entitled white women.

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They are said to behave in a privileged manner – for example, demanding to speak to the manager when thwarted in a shop and thus seen as those who enjoy belittling service staff.

Such women are also said to weaponise their relative privilege against

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