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Christopher Biggins: ‘Anti-gay hate laws will create a new climate of fear’

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  1. He writes in the ultra-conservative Daily Mail.

    And he is . . . who? “Christopher Biggins, actor”. Almost all actors will do ANYTHING to raise their profile by generating publicity.

  2. Biggins makes a career out of reinforcing outdated unfunny gay stereotypes. No surprise Daily Mail readers lap all that up unconditionally. He’s creating a straw man – no one is stripping him of his right to be a prick on stage with his completely forgettable acts for people over 70. Be my guest. But it’s time the law made it clear inciting hatred about people for their sexuality is wrong and punishable.

  3. Look where his platform is. The Daily Mail, friend of gay people everywhere. It is lovely to talk of free speech as if we all had a level playing field and similar opportunity to engage in free speech. Organised religion and press barons such as the owners of the daily mail have great power to express their hatred and to incite hatred. This affects us when politicians are so terrified of any criticism coming from the daily mail. The hatred they whip up effects our rights and the way we are percieved and treated. Our biggest haters, organised religions are already protected and it would be unfair if they are protected and those they seek to stir up hatred against weren’t. The daily mail has perhaps most to lose and Christopher biggins in bed with them.

  4. lithotomist 23 Mar 2009, 11:57am

    “Showbiz, camp theatrics and dazzling wit helped to pave the way for gay rights” ? What a load of old tosh ! They helped to create the image of gay men as queeny and insubstantial – and while I defend the right of someone to be just that, I want the right to be an entirely different kind of gay man, not a pantomime joke.

  5. I don’t consider it ‘special treatment’ any more than racism laws constitute special treatment. The law has identified a group, the LGBT community, who are sometimes victimised because of who they are and is going to make sure that hateful, offensive and untrue statements about this group are discouraged. It’s not as though people are imagining this hatred – we see it every day.
    This law wouldn’t be necessary if people had the decency to treat other human beings with respect.

  6. Brian Burton 23 Mar 2009, 12:13pm

    Say do’se it mean I cannot call my friends ‘Silly old Queens’ in public? Biggy’s right!

  7. I’m sort of on the fence here. I agree in principle that incitement to hatred should be stamped out, but where do you draw that line in the sand. Is the perpetuation of tired gay stereotypes homophobic hate speech? Some gay people themselves refer to each other as “poof” or “queer”, which muddies the water.
    Comedy constantly pushes the PC envelope, but if we’re suddenly off limits does that make it awkward for straight people to hang out with us for fear of causing offence? I can kind of see what Biggins is driving at.
    That said I’m generally irritated around people who use the word “gay” to mean “crap”, so it’s a bit of a grey area.
    To my mind as long as actual hatespeach is monitored, I can take the occasional camp jibe without hauling out the statute book.

  8. Having heard the arguments for and against on Radio 4 this morning, I can only assume that Biggins either did not read the legislation proposed, understand it or care. He is wrong and so is Atkinson. I suppose that his fee for the tosh in the Mail is enough to salvage his conscience when the next gay man gets beaten up. And let us not forget, Biggins has written crap before for the Mail. Idiot

  9. Robert, ex-pat Brit 23 Mar 2009, 1:24pm

    So I suppose in Rowan Atkinson’s mind, its ok for anyone to say…”kill the gays”, “beat them up”, “bash them” in the name of free speech? Please! Maybe if Atkinson were on the receiving end of hateful speech and discrimination, he’d think twice before opening his big mouth.

  10. Kudos to Chirs Biggins! In case the average reactive posters in this forum inhabit a different planet t the rest of us, our freedoms are stealthily being taken away, bit by bit, and it’s only when we wake up one day to discover that our individual lives are under total state control and surveillance that we will realise how the gay community was used to advance this sinister totalitarian agenda. by which time, of course, it will be too late.

  11. OK, sorry to flip-flop here, but having read the homophobic bollocks that Chris Moyles is churning out on Radio 1, I’m starting to think there should be tighter control on the negative stereotyping that gets broadcast over the airwaves, and more accountablility from the DJs involved.
    Jonathon Ross and Russell Brand were publicly hauled over the coals for playing a juvenile prank on one individual, but when Moyles goes for an entire minority group and the shit hits the fan we discover he’s made of teflon. Why no suspension without pay or tighter editorial control for Moyles?
    Whether or not to make it a legal matter is more of a moot point, but I still think it’s worthy of a contract review.

  12. Subject to the usual conditions (you don’t shout fire in a theatre or incite violence etc.) free speech is always the best option.

    Only through robust unrestricted debate can good arguments be seen to win over bad ones and society advance as aa result.

    The problem as the law in the UK stands the moment is that the playing field is not level with some groups having additional protections and some not.

    In the case of religion, a clear advantage currently exists for those who have their beliefs protected over and above the intrinsic quality of other members of the community, LGBT people, who then cannot fight back against legally protected religious attacks without themselves falling foul of a one-sided law.

    This is clearly wrong.

    Therefore, though I would prefer getting rid of unnecessary restrictions on debate, as long as some groups are given an advantage, I would reluctantly support the amendment giving equal protection for LGBT people.

  13. Some people seem to misunderstand the anti-gay hate laws. They seem to think any criticism of gay people will constitute a hate crime. Saying that homosexuality is a sin for example should not be made a crime, however unpleasant that is. However when someone like Anjem Chaudery says that, in the name of Sharia Law, that gay people should be stoned to death or murdered THAT should constitute a hate crime.

  14. You keep talking about stereotypes. Well, we are aour own stereotype of what people to consider gay. We mince down the streets, dress badly, have more drag queens telling gay jokes than any other, created a gay ghetto in Vauxhall, put our mark on soho. I agree with biggins. So whats wrong with a gay stereotypical joke. Most of them are hysterically funny, especially the lesbian ones.

  15. I completely agree with AdrianT: “Biggins makes a career out of reinforcing outdated unfunny gay stereotypes.”

    It’s about time he hung up his Widow Twanky costume and realise the gay world has moved on from that outdated, offensive (but strangely perpetuated) nonsense. Why, when gay men are portrayed, do performers have to resort to lazy stereotypes? – Showing camp, limp-wristed florists/interior designers who prattle on about the size of sausages, and the like. We are three dimensional people, you know!

  16. Biggins, darling, this isn’t supposed to opress comedy; we have had saucy humour since the year dot and long may it continue. It’s to stop Mad religious nutters telling us we are rsponsible for all the worlds ills and should be stoned to death! Now put the toys back in the playpen and play nicely!

  17. Oh, isn’t it amusing that we protect our “LGBT brothers and sisters” until it happens to be published somewhere we dont like. What a bunch of HYPOCRITES the people on this board are.

    The fact that Biggins is a camp old thesp is totally irrelavant, and one should view the bigger picture. The bottom line is, if someone is beaten up, there is a very strict guideline as to sentencing, the fact the victim was old, black, gay or all of these , or whatever the motive for the assault, there should be one law that covers it, and all this nannying “additional motives” means bugger all.

    Likewise, as the old saying goes, laugh with people, not at them. Or are we going to arrest Dave Lynn for taking the piss out of old queens? Its about time people got a thicker skin instead of running home to Mummy because “the bad man called me names”. If a bitchy gay man can’t take a bit of verbal stick once in a while, who the can? Quentin Crisp must be spinning like a fuckin’ top.

    We have a lot more important things to worry about.

  18. Brian Burton 23 Mar 2009, 7:28pm

    Well said Robin. I’ve been called some choice names in my time. It’s water off a duck’s back as far as I’m concerned.

  19. RobN, I’m sure you can give as much bitchy abuse as you get. Kudos to you for being so tough! However, try, just for one moment, to think about what it would be like to be a 10 year old child in a rough school. It’s the sort of school where names like fag, sissy and queer are routinely heard as insults, where boys who are quiet, studious and don’t like sports are called names and physically abused. That’s why I would support anti-gay hate laws – to protect young people from the homophobic name calling and violence that has become normalised in our society.

    Christopher Biggins and Rowan Atkinson haven’t thought this through – or rather, they’re thinkig of themselves as comedians first. Understandable really – most people put their own concerns above those of others. I, on the other hand, am thinking of those school children I regularly see in my home town who get picked on for being gay. Some of those kids may be tough and bitchy enough to “deal with it”. Some may not. Some, I’d warrant, will committ suicide.

  20. I remember in the early 80′s when we had all those comedians who would smoke a lot on stage, and tell racist jokes. Of Course their careers where to be soon over. I also remember at the time the same arguments about how comedy would never be the same if we stopped these kind of jokes, but comedy lived on, and we had new comedians such as black adder and so on, who did not need to tell racist jokes in order to get a laugh. I remember Joe Brand once said “if a comedian needs to tell racist jokes on stage for laughs, then they should not be a comedian” Today we find ourselves back in the same place, Do comedians really need to tell homophobic jokes on stage to get a laugh?

    As for Christopher Biggins, He has been totally used by the Mail newspaper. He should never of written anything for that homophobic newspaper, he is a fool! Christopher you where totally used in order to perpetuate the Mails homophobic views? And you fell for it, was the money that important to you Christopher. Lastly, Christopher you are just an old man. What do you really have to say for the gay youth of today?, and what gives you the right to speak for anyone else but your self. You are a fool, and will be remembered as such!

    If a comedian can not be funny without telling a homophobic joke, then they should not be a comedian!

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