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Government Ad Sparks Backlash For Telling Ballerina To Retrain In Cyber Security

Government Ad Sparks Backlash For Telling Ballerina To Retrain In Cyber Security

'The UK Government has become the dad in Billy Elliot.'

Naomi Chadderton (FL)

Naomi Chadderton (FL)

A government advertisement has sparked outrage after appearing to suggest that those working in the arts should consider retraining in IT.

The advert in question shows a young ballet dancer with a caption saying: "Fatima's next job could be in cyber (she just doesn't know it yet)." It was followed by the tagline: "Rethink. Reskill. Reboot."

While the ad is part of a wider government-backed Cyber First scheme designed to encourage youngsters to explore careers in cybersecurity, and is believed to be part of a 2019 campaign, its resurgence couldn't have come at a worse time for the government who are currently facing substantial backlash for not sufficiently supporting the creative industries through the pandemic.

They have even gone as far to suggest workers should consider new roles as the job market is reshaped by coronavirus, and of course, people are p*ssed.

The government has come under fire for saying creatives should retrain (

"I have spent my entire life immersed in music and I am married to someone who has spent her entire life and no small amount of money training for roles in theatre and the arts...this is revolting #Fatima" tweeted one outraged creative.

With another saying: "This ad is a disgrace! The total lack of respect for the arts by this dreadful government has to stop!! Talk about also crushing young performers dreams! Rethink Reskill Reboot??!! How dare they!"

"And just like that, Fatima's dreams are crushed. Shocking from HMG," said another.

"How hideous is this. Fatima's dreams: dismissed, degraded, denounced," added a fourth.

People are not happy with Rishi Sunak (

"Hi @RishiSunak. What if Fatima doesn't want to work in Cyber? What if she'd rather continue working in a career that she's, no doubt, given years of her life to?

"How about the Government realises that the industry she already belongs to is profitable, viable & world beating?" said a fifth.

Oh, and there's loads more too...

In perhaps our favourite tweet, one crafty creative said she "fixed" the ad, which had been changed to say: "Fatima could keep the job she loves. (If the government decided to give a f*ck. Save. The. Arts."

While the ad is obviously blood-boiling, culture secretary Oliver Dowden insisted the poster had not been produced by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), saying: "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 like to think about a career in cyber security. I want to save jobs in the arts which is why we are investing £1.57bn."

Regardless of whether this ad was part of a coronavirus campaign or not, I think we can all agree it should never have been created in the first place.

You do you, Fatima.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: Life News, Coronavirus

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