Immigration Street finally aired last Tuesday, 24th March. The follow up to the controversial Channel 4 documentary ‘Benefits Street’ was reduced to one episode because of protests around Southampton. The show was filmed on Derby Road, Southampton. Protestors were concerned that a culturally diverse area of Southampton was being labelled ‘Immigration Street’, and that the documentary could incite racial hatred on a national scale.
Alan Whitehead, MP for Southampton Test said the reduction of episodes is a ‘victory’ for Southampton, because the protesters managed to reduce the series to a one-time show. He said: “I heard they [Love Productions] literally sat in their office in London, wanted to film a show called Immigration Street and chose to come to Southampton. It was a problem because the company clearly had an agenda before they even came.”
Immigration Street was trending nationwide on Tuesday night, with many tweeters angry at Channel 4’s portrayal of Derby Road. However, Alan Whitehead said that he received many tweets from people upset with the way he handled the situation on the show, he said: “A lot of people on Twitter were sledging me for not reacting to the anger at the conference. The residents didn’t want Love Productions to film anymore, they wanted them to leave. Their reaction to the ridiculous conference Love Productions called is expected when your privacy is invaded.”
Channel 4 has not stated whether there will be a follow-up series to Immigration Street, like Benefit Street, in the near future.
Written by Ryan Fuller