A new campaign encouraging people to ‘rethink, reboot and reskill’ has sparked outrage online.
Pictures of the new “Cyber First” campaign show a young ballet dancer with a caption saying that “Fatima’s next job could be cyber….Rethink. Reskill. Reboot.”
Singer Darren Hayes was quick to respond to the new campaign, posting on Twitter: “Stick with your dreams, don’t listen to this shit campaign written by people who, when not working, turn to the arts – music, tv, film, theatre, dance, photography, etc etc for joy. Making joy is our job. Reboot your terrible advertisement.”
Well this is fucking soul-crushing pic.twitter.com/aNoy7XNCyJ— James Felton (@JimMFelton) October 12, 2020
Author Caitlin Moran added: “I don’t know if the government know they appear to have recently created a ‘Hopes & Dreams Crushing Department’, but for a country already depressed and anxious, I would suggest it’s a bit of a ‘Not now, dudes’ moment?”
While Shadow mental health minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan tweeted: “Fatima, you be you. Don’t let anyone else tell you that you aren’t good enough because you don’t conform to their preconceived social norms.”
Even Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden couldn’t hide his frustration.
The MP condemned the “crass” advertising campaign, responding on Twitter after the #Fatima started to trend.
“To those tweeting re #Fatima. This is not something from @DCMS & I agree it was crass. This was a partner campaign encouraging people from all walks of life to think about a career in cyber security.”
He added “I want to save jobs in the arts”, pointing to the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, which announced its first recipients today.
The controversy came after Chancellor Rishi Sunak denied encouraging workers in the struggling arts industry to retrain.
Mr Sunak insisted he was talking generally about the need for some workers to “adapt” and suggested there would be “fresh and new opportunities” available for those who could not do their old jobs.
According to Arts Council England, the arts and culture industry contributes more than £10 billion a year to the UK economy, with £3 spent on food, drink, accommodation and travel for every £1 spent on theatre tickets.