The beloved British culinary show, “The Great British Bake Off,” is undergoing some changes for its upcoming 14th season. The show has decided to move away from its previous tradition of featuring nationality-themed episodes, following criticism from various quarters accusing these themed showcases of being insensitive and promoting racism.
In past seasons, amateur bakers vied against each other in rounds dedicated to specific nationalities. During these themed weeks, participants aimed to create bread, cakes, and pastries that reflected the culinary styles of different countries. However, this practice came under scrutiny as critics pointed out that some of the dishes presented were not truly authentic to the respective themes.
Complicating matters, co-hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas faced backlash for their actions during these episodes. Their use of sombreros, maracas, and attempts at imitating Latin-American accents drew the ire of certain viewers. The hosts’ attempts at humor also missed the mark, leading to allegations of offense and poor taste.
In response to the concerns raised, Kieran Smith, the executive producer of the show, admitted to the mistakes made in the past. He acknowledged that changes were needed in light of evolving sensitivities and attitudes. Smith emphasized that the decision to forgo national themes in the new season was driven by a desire to avoid causing offense and to better align with the changing world.
The show’s upcoming season is set to embrace a more traditional approach to its programming. The themes for the new season include classic categories such as Cakes, Biscuits, Bread, Patisserie, and Chocolate, along with an intriguing addition: Party Cakes. Smith expressed enthusiasm for the challenges in the upcoming season, hinting at surprises that are sure to delight viewers.
The forthcoming season also introduces a diverse group of amateur bakers. The lineup of contestants for the 14th season represents a variety of backgrounds, and the inclusion of the show’s first deaf participant showcases its ongoing commitment to inclusivity. Additionally, the show’s 14th season marks a milestone with Alison Hammond becoming the first person of color to take on a presenting role. When asked about her historic position, Hammond downplayed its significance, expressing a hope for a future where such achievements are commonplace and not a cause for extraordinary attention.
In summary, “The Great British Bake Off” is evolving with the times, stepping away from nationality-themed episodes in response to concerns about insensitivity and racism. The show’s focus on inclusivity and traditional baking challenges remains steadfast, promising an exciting and diverse 14th season that reflects the changing landscape of culinary entertainment.