A BBC TV programme that contained slurs against lesbians and the actress Lindsay Lohan has been received just 13 complaints, the corporation said today.
The Most Annoying People of 2008, which is still available on the BBC iPlayer, was broadcast several times over the New Year period on BBC Three.
A Radio 5 Live DJ known as Spoony was commenting on the lesbian relationship between actress Lindsay Lohan and DJ Sam Ronson.
“Let the munters and mingers get each other. That’s cool because nobody wants them,” he said.
“When they’re hot and fit – Hollywood superstars – they should be saved for the guys.”
PinkNews.co.uk brought his remarks to public attention last week.
Despite the fact that it has now been reported in the traditional media, the BBC said today that so far only 13 complaints have been received.
Gay rights group Stonewall and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell have both criticised the BBC for not taking complaints about homophobia seriously.
“This sort of language is completely inappropriate,” Ben Summerskill, Stonewall’s chief executive, told PinkNews.co.uk.
“We are concerned that the BBC Trust has not taken its responsiblites seriously enough in terms of monitoring what maverick radio and TV presenters do.
“We are absolutely clear they should issue an apology and reassure licence payers, particularly lesbian and gay licence payers, who contribute £200m a year, that there will not be a recurrence.”
Peter Tatchell told PinkNews.co.uk:
“The remarks by DJ Spoony and straight porn actor Ron Jeremy were gratuitously sexist and homophobic.
“The production company and the BBC should have never broadcast them.
“The upcoming repeats should either cut or bleep-out their stupid, bigoted remarks.
“The BBC should also issue a public apology.
“Spoony should be suspended by the BBC and only be allowed to continue presenting his Radio 5 programme after he has apologised on air and promised not to repeat his homophobic garbage.”
In the programme former porn performer Ron Jeremy made several references to ejaculating on the couple.
Paul Flynn, of Grazia magazine, commented that the high profile of Lohan and Ronsons’ relationship is a positive thing for the lesbian community, as “You don’t have hot, cool lesbians in culture; they don’t exist.”
The BBC has defended the comments.
“The contributors to the programme are expressing their own views and opinions, which are meant in a light-hearted way with no malicious intent,” a spokesperson for the corporation said.
PinkNews.co.uk readers have expressed their displeasure with the BBC on our message boards.
“The BBC is so hypocritical about this sort of issues,” wrote Valerio.
“They behave as though they had no guidelines about decency in their programming, they only respond to media reactions to their broadcasts … since homophobic comments don’t really anger the masses they are happy to let them slide.”
“Lesbians have got to be the most picked upon of all the LGBT groups and it is widely reflected in the media. I would also argue that lesbians (as a group in general) are not particularly good at standing up for themselves.
“However, the community has got to examine its own attitudes as well. I have met countless gay men who find it totally acceptable to slag lesbians to their faces regarding the old stereotypes and sideline or marginalise lesbian groups within the community.
“Time for us dykes to stand up and become as vocal as the guys in demanding respect.”