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Exclusive: Police may investigate ‘homophobic’ joke on Have I Got News For You

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  1. Simon Murphy 29 Oct 2008, 5:52pm

    This wasn’t a hate crime. It’s a comedy show and I think the guy is over-reacting. Iris Robinson is guilty of hate crimes by linking homosexuality to paedophilia thereby endangering gay people (we all know what the public thinks should happen to paedophiles). But what Alexander Armstrong said was tasteless but hardly likely to result in danger to gay people.

  2. theotherhalf 29 Oct 2008, 5:57pm

    oh for god sakes! It was a joke and one i would have made myself.

    Global Homophobia is disgusting, satirical comedy is not.

  3. So, simon, as it is a comedy show, would it be ok for them to start calling black people niggers?? would that be ok too?? Your naivety beggars belief.

    No, the comments were deeply offensive, especially as it actually referenced the killing of gay people in Iran. Anybody who has seen the pictures of the two young boys in tears, publicly hung in Iran a few years ago for being gay, would find the comments EXTREMELY offensive.

    But then, maybe its ok to say anything you like about gays. Just make sure you don’t offend black people, Jews, or muslims.

  4. It’s a disgracefully poor attempt to highlight the Iranian state’s backwardness, which went wrong. It is disgusting that people should make light word-plays on the matter, and they should not be allowed to forget about it.

    But to describe it as a hate crime is nonsense. And to talk of involving the police is taking things to hysterical, Orwellian levels.

    (on a totally different note, I wondered if throwing an egg, or ketchup, at any of these panelists at some future opportunity constitutes a hate crime or is it freedom of speech… – not that I am recommending this action of course!)

  5. What a nutter! What is he complaining about?

    I am glad that they drew considerable attention to Iran’s murderously homophobic regime. They used humour as a mechanism to do this.

    This show is watched by a massive variety of people, many of whom won’t know that Iran continues to execute gays.

  6. Actually I take back my previous remarks: satire is important. We need more of it. Comedians and satirists are under enough censorship (from reliigous fanatics usually) as it is after the mohammed cartoon nonsense. It’s good the programme juxtaposes the issue against a tawdry PR stunt, frankly. Skinner’s remark though, was just inane.

  7. Yes it’s storm in a teacup and not at all worthy of such an over- reaction, I am sure President Ratandjamsarnie of Iran will be very pleased if this little episode makes the media careful of what they say about his crazy and murderously backward country in future.

  8. So it’s funny to make jokes about hanging gay people? I think it’s disgraceful and I absolutely agree with the chap who has made the complaint. What you don’t seem to understand is that other people will see that programme and think it’s OK to say pretty much anything they like about gay folk. Jeremy Clarkson making fun of Richard Hammond and saying he must be gay because he whitens his teeth ….. now that’s funny! Making jokes about hanging gay people isn’t funny at all – it’s disgusting.

    Can you imagine how a young gay person, struggling to come to terms with their sexuality is going to think watching that with their parents.

    I’m absolutely amazed that people on here think it’s OK to make comments like that.

  9. Russ…you’re missing the point…what I’ve said to my friends all along comes into play here: until we, as a collective, learn to let things roll off our backs and just say, “eh, things like that happen,” honestly, we deserve a bunch of the crap we get…because, the stereotype of gay men being a bunch of campy, whining pantywaists sometimes ends up fulfilling itself when someone complains every time anything remotely homophobic or gay in nature is even approached…it’s going to possibly get to the point that people won’t be able to laugh at any kind of joke for fear that, “ooh, maybe I’ll get in trouble because one spineless person will screw it up for the lot of us!”

    (As you can tell, I’m kinda sick of hearing people whine about what they hear on tv…people need to grow up a bit)

  10. I don’t agree with Cody’s comment as I don’t think the remark was ‘remotely’ homophobic. I think it was clearly homophobic. I don’t agree we should accept it as something that happens ’cause it shouldn’t really. I think ultimately it’s a comment of very bad taste, a bit like making jokes about September 11th. Having said that, I think it would be a bit extreme to give the guy a criminal record because of that. It would be good ‘though if it was highlighted to him (preferably on national tv as well) that it was of real bad taste.

  11. I watched this program with my girlfriend, we both laughed, and neither of us have thought about it since. So while it wasn’t the best joke in the world, thats all it was. It was a joke, and a politcal comment – they hang gay people in Iran, and not saying it isn’t going to make it stop. I would suggest if you can’t take a joke, then you steer clear of watching programs where they are made!
    Some would suggest that the person complaining may be trying to launch a acting career and break out of a dance troop – it seems to work for other people!

  12. Ok, it could be taken as being untastfull by someone not familier with the tone of ‘have I got news for you’, and yes, taking the mick of a situation like that is a bit uncalled for. But really, a hate crime it isn’t.

    It was a satirical dig at the Iranian goverment. Not to mention, how many people outside of the LGBT comunity where awair of the problem a month ago? How many more do you think will know about it now?

  13. Cody, the rule of thumb is this: if you can substitute “black”, “woman”, or “Jew” then the joke’s OK. If a howl of rage from all quarters would sppring up then you know the joke is homophobic.

    We have to live in the world as it is; we don’t need to have it shoved in our face in the media

  14. The rule of thumb concept is entirely valid….there remains a hierarchy of discrimination, and acceptable prejudice re the gay community and it has to stop. Here in N Ireland, several months on from scores of formal complaints to the police re Iris Robinson and her hate filled language there has been no investigation….because the police can’t make their mind up what to do. However an allegation by Iris against a gay man resulted in his interview under threat of arrest!!!!!

  15. This is the most pathetic thing I’ve ever heard. Today I’m officially ashamed to be gay.

    Oh when will this community grow up and stop being so precious? When will the po-faced guardians of public morality acquire a sense of humour? When will we agree to allow others to enjoy the rights that we so loudly claim?

  16. I don’t think it was homophobic; I’ve always considered both Hislop and Merton to be “Gay Friendly”. Yes, maybe it was said in jest but it brings home to people who may not realise it; Gays are killed in Iran simply for being gay!

  17. well done rjb!HIGNFY is supposed to be a satirical programme and all it was trying to do was to highlight the barbaric happenings in Iran in a tongue in cheek way .Seems most gays have had a SOH bypass.

  18. Well done rjb I couldnt agree more!Us gays need to chill out more and loose that chip on our shoulder.

  19. For once I have to take Armstrong’s side in this, I saw the show and it was obvious to me that the joke was at the expense of Iran’s homophobic regime and not the gay community. If you watch a show like “Have I got News For You” expect some statements to be layered with irony – it is a satirical show after all.

  20. theotherhalf 31 Oct 2008, 5:25pm

    In related news:

    a researcher finds that a significant number of queer People experience name calling and violence because of their sexuality.

    They are promptly removed from their office to the University Quadrangle and hung.

    Well they’ve got no right to say the world’s not all sunshine and light do they?

    As manny posters have pointed out: allot more people now know Iran has the death penalty for queer People. I think the joke served it’s satirical purpose well

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