The BBC can be its own worst enemy at times and no worse an enemy in its portrayal of homophobes.
I am an enormous fan of the BBC. I will certainly be on its side against the Murdoch-fuelled attempts of the current UK Government to emasculate it and give more power to its commercial rivals.
We have had two particularly nasty examples of the BBC’s being reluctant to challenge quite vicious homophobia recently. First, someone of whom I had happily never heard, Tyson Fury, apparently won a boxing match recently. Good for him. I hope his brain does not suffer more than it clearly has already.
Fury has views on gays which equate us to paedophiles and he thinks a woman’s place is in the home making him tea or being “on her back”. The BBC allows Fury to be nominated for sports personality of the year (not just “sports person of the year” for which title I suppose he has some claim, but sports personality).
Now, educated and stable people (like me for example 🙂 ) might laugh this off as a rather cynical attempt to drive viewers to watch the programme – broadcasting click-bait if you like. But there are thousands of uncertain LGBT people who are trying to work out their sexuality and their attitude to it having been brought up in an atmosphere of pure homophobia, usually a religious one. When they hear “sporting heroes” whom they often do regard as role models saying these frightful things they are pushed more deeply into distress, often depression and sometimes suicide. I am sorry to be blunt but the BBC, and of course the scumbag Fury, have blood on their hands as a result of allowing this man to compete on equal terms with civilised people.
If, by the way, you think, as one of the less awful representatives of UKIP did on Marr this morning, that it is up to the people to decide by not voting for him for the title, then consider what would have happened if Fury had made the same remarks about Jews or blacks as he made about gays. Do you seriously think for one minute that the BBC would have kept him on the Sports personality of the Year shortlist for a microsecond? of course not. And they of course would have been right not to. Those double standards of themselves show that the BBC has some way to go in its progress towards treating gay people equally.
That was Fury. Now some real fury of mine.
This morning (Sunday 20th December 2015) on some religious show, one Chris Sugden, who is employed by Anglican Mainstream, a pressure group within the Anglican church dedicated to orthodox Christianity (I have some sympathy intellectually with its views granted the premises from which it derives them) was allowed to get away with the statement that the many Commonwealth countries that criminalise gay sexual expression do so to protect their families and children from grooming. In other words, gay people should be criminalised because they prey upon the young. Again, imagine how long this evil man would have lasted if he had accused Muslims or Jews of wanting to get their hands on children…
Sugden’s disgusting comments can be found reported here.
The BBC really needs to recognise that modern society expects bile and hate speech against gays to be treated in the same way as bile and hate speech against Jews, Muslims or people of colour is very rightly treated. They don’t yet – and that is sad.