The ninja community is 'drastically underrepresented' in almost all television drama, according to a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
The Commission's damning report, They Do It With Shurikens, is heavily critical of the media. 'As an example, we sampled 150 crime drama programmes, and found not a single portrayal of ukigusa-gatsure, despite statistics which show that this method of concealing your underwater escape from a crime scene with duckweed was used in eight per cent of all crimes in 2010,' said Commission chair Trevor Phillips. 'Masaka sonna koto ga aruhazu nai yo!!'
The report singled out ITV's Downton Abbey for particular criticism. 'Despite being set in Edwardian England, this drama contained not a single ninja character, even among the aristocracy' Phillips said. 'It is a totally skewed picture of British society. Nameru ja nai!!'
A spokesperson for the Federation of British Ninjas said: 'The ninja community has faced an uphill struggle for social acceptance through no fault of their own. As recently as the eighth century people pretended we didn't exist, and now we see the same bigotry transferred to the small screen. Where are the ninjas in the Martin Clunes remake of Reggie Perrin? Why does The Doctor never choose to travel with a ninja in the Tardis? Apart from all the yelling and assassination, of course. And have you ever seen a ninja reading the news? Of course not, because ninjas are too stealthy to be seen in the open. Mise mono jai nai yo!!'
TV executives accepted some of the criticism. Phil Collinson, executive producer of ITV's hit soap Coronation Street, said his team aimed to represent every strand of society and acknowledged that the ninja contribution to British life had been overlooked. 'So we're remedying it in an explosive new storyline next month,' he said. 'When Audrey Roberts is kidnapped by terrorists, only one woman can save her - but how will locals at the Rovers react when Betty Turpin comes out as a trained ninja? One thing's for sure: Weatherfield will never be the same again. Achi itte ahondara!!'