The BBC is facing mounting criticism of its Shannon Matthews drama ‘The Moorside’ for omitting the number of Asian people involved in the search for the missing nine-year-old.

The corporation was this week criticised by community leaders in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, who told The Huffington Post UK the true multicultural efforts to find Shannon were not reflected in the two-part programme.

Supporters and family members of missing nine year old Shannon Matthews walk around Dewsbury in this undated photo from 2008 How the BBC drama ‘The Moorside’ portrayed the banner walk in the programme’s first episode

On Wednesday evening Channel 4 News presenter Fatima Manji asked on Twitter: “Why did the BBC erase Asian faces from the hunt for Shannon Matthews story?”

She added: “I noticed this too – Dewsbury has big working class Asian Muslim population. They were actively involved in Shannon hunt – why erase them?

“Why not accurately use a diverse cast? Couldn’t be bothered? Or so focused on telling ‘white working class’ story- they ignored reality?”

@fatimamanji probably also a lack of diversity in their production team that exacerbated this. A diverse team wouldn’t have missed this…

— Rhammel Afflick (@Rhammified) February 15, 2017

And that’s why diversity matters – not because it’s a fluffy, nice thing – but because it is about getting the story right

— Fatima Manji (@fatimamanji) February 15, 2017

@fatimamanji come on its about a child get a grip, all your bothered about is the cast….. sick

— skewalzy (@Skewalzy) February 15, 2017

@Skewalzy no my point is if you make a drama claiming to reflect a real story, you should get it right

— Fatima Manji (@fatimamanji) February 15, 2017

@fatimamanji I think this point is the least of the worries,the fact this is even a drama is bad enough who cares who the cast was seriously

— skewalzy (@Skewalzy) February 15, 2017

@fatimamanji used to live 5 mins down road from that estate & can honestly I’ve never seen an Asian.Dews Asians r in Saville T & Staincliffe

— Dyson (@MPDyson) February 15, 2017

@fatimamanji I really doubt if those pictures were taken ON Dewsbury Moor estate. There is vast segregation in Dewsbury. I was born at DDH.

— Dyson (@MPDyson) February 15, 2017

@MPDyson fair enough, true about segregation – think point here is the hunt did involve people from other estates and that wasn’t shown

— Fatima Manji (@fatimamanji) February 15, 2017

HuffPost told earlier of reaction from Dewsbury’s Asian community, many of whom helped out in the 2008 search for Shannon.

Mumtaz Hussain, a local councillor in the West Yorkshire town, said that despite the huge effort on the part of Asian people there, the programme doesn’t include many Asian faces.

“The Asian community played a big part and a lot of Asian people were working in this group,” he said. “But when they showed the drama there were hardly any Asian people in it.”

Another councillor, Darren O’Donovan, said that diversity was one aspect of the drama he took issue with.

The BBC said no complaints had thus far been received and refused to comment further when approached today by The Huffington Post.

The corporation said previously: “The producers, ITV Studios, extensively researched the estate in 2008 to ensure the drama authentically reflects the diversity of the community at that time.

“The drama focuses on the story of the women who led the campaign to find Shannon Matthews.”

This article was sourced from