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Michael Sheen is embroiled in BBC bias row over his new show The Way about a violent workers’ uprising


The BBC is facing fresh questions about political bias with the release of a new drama about a violent workers’ uprising.

Directed by movie star Michael Sheen, The Way depicts an authoritarian government crackdown on protests over job cuts at the Port Talbot steelworks.

It comes just weeks after Tata Steel said almost 2,000 jobs were at risk, leading to demonstrations in the town.

Sheen, a Welsh nationalist, also stars as a unionist in the series released today. He has denied that the drama is a call to arms.

However, critics said it could be seen as inflammatory when tensions were already running high.

Directed by movie star Michael Sheen, The Way depicts an authoritarian government crackdown on protests over job cuts at the Port Talbot steelworks

Directed by movie star Michael Sheen, The Way depicts an authoritarian government crackdown on protests over job cuts at the Port Talbot steelworks

Sheen, a Welsh nationalist, also stars as a unionist in the series released today. He has denied that the drama is a call to arms

Sheen, a Welsh nationalist, also stars as a unionist in the series released today. He has denied that the drama is a call to arms

One senior Tory MP said: ‘This is typical politicisation of the BBC’s drama output. Riots and disorder and it’s all the fault of the Conservative Party. Sheen should just run for office.’

Lee Anderson, Conservative MP for Ashfield, said: ‘This comes as no surprise as the BBC is the official opposition these days.’ Sheen said he had ‘huge sympathy’ for the steelworkers but insisted it was a coincidence that the show he devised in 2016 was released after the job cuts were announced.

He said: ‘It’s incredibly unfortunate that the story we’ve written has come bizarrely very close to the truth. In no way is this a blueprint to how people should react, but you don’t know do you?’

The actor, 55, admitted that the show could be seen as political and that he had feared it would be pulled by BBC bosses. ‘We wanted to get this out quickly,’ he told The Times. ‘The concern was that if it was too close to an election, the BBC would get nervous.’

Tata has said its Port Talbot operation is at ‘the end of life’ with daily losses of £1.7million.

A BBC spokesman said: ‘The Way … explores a number of themes across the series, and does not focus on any one single debate, campaigning issue, or political opinion.

‘The plant in the series is fictionalised and is not intended to be seen as Tata Steel.’



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