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Exclusive: Former culture secretary Chris Smith calls for BBC action over Chris Moyles

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  1. Simon Murphy 25 Mar 2009, 3:00pm

    The Director-General of the BBC is a man named Mark Thompson.

    His email address is as follows:

    mark.thompson@bbc.co.uk

  2. Simon Murphy 25 Mar 2009, 3:00pm

    Dear Mark Thompson,

    I am writing to inform you that I will not be paying my BBC license fee in the future.

    As a gay person I do not see any reason to pay this fee to an organisation (like the BBC) which tolerates and accepts casual homophobia and refuses to reprimand staff for their casual bigotry against the gay community.

    My decision to stop paying my license fee stems from the decision by the BBC not to reprimand or punish Chris Moyles after an Ofcom judgement found Moyles to be in breach of broadcasting guidelines after his homophobic comments about Will Young on his Breakfast Show on 20 January 2009.

    This follows an earlier occasion where the BBC refused to reprimand Moyles for his use of the word ‘gay’ to describe something useless.

    Also no action was taken against Jeremy Clarkson or DJ Spoony for homophobic comments in recent times.

    This acceptance of casual homophobia by presenters across the BBC and the refusal of BBC management to take the matter seriously indicates an institutional homophobia across the BBC.

    Had Moyles used sneering racial or sexist stereotypes against black or Asian or female singers I have absolutely no doubt that serious action would have been taken to ensure that the culprit apologised and that the incident was not repeated.

    Why the homophobic double standard.

    As all the evidence points to an institutional homophobia in the BBC I will be with-holding my license fee until the issue has been addressed seriously

    Yours sincerely

  3. I heart Chris Smith.

  4. Robert, ex-pat Brit 25 Mar 2009, 4:45pm

    Simon, I second that!

  5. Brian Burton 25 Mar 2009, 6:30pm

    Simon Murphy, Will you Pay the £1000 fine or choose the statutory jail sentence for non-payment of TV licence?

  6. Simon Murphy 25 Mar 2009, 7:51pm

    Neither. It’s a TV license – it’s hardly the crime of the century – I doubt anyone has ever been jailed for non-payment of a TV license despite it being technically a jailable offense

  7. Last year Noel Edmonds said he was going to stop paying his licence fee. He didn’t like the BBC’s “We know where you live” attitude.

  8. How about some perspective here. Chris is clearly proud to have an openly gay member of his production team on the radio with him, likes to ask in a fun, friendly and genuine way about his love life, and is very effusive about his gay guests like Will Young, Elton John and Christopher Biggins.

    Yet people think he’s homophobic. Homophobes are scared of gay people and cannot stand them. He is trying more than probably any other man in the entertainment industry to incorporate gay themes into his show.

    Compare him to Scott Mills. Supposedly ‘out’ this man never mentions his sexuality, doing all it takes to hide it including flirting with female callers and guests. Once someone called in and just said straight off ‘are you gay?’ and he cut them off and said ‘what a question’ or something very similar.

    I can think of plenty other gay DJs who do everything they can to avoid the subject. I understand where they’re just playing music but when they’re creating a persona that isn’t even proud about that aspect of them.

    How can that be a good thing? and why do we care that Chris Moyles adopted a camp voice for a few seconds – judge him on his actions.

    The show a few weeks ago where his producer Aled had split with his boyfriend was genuinely touching – he was very genuine and sympathetic about it.

  9. Sorry, who is Scott Mills? As for Moyles, if he was so caring and sharing about the LGBT community then why doesn’t he come out and say that he’s not homophobic and put a stop to the allegations? Well, he’s got his reward for being so “outrageous”, a new show on Ch4. Works for him

  10. Who is Scott Mills? Clearly you have never listened to Moyles on the radio. As such you are not exactly best placed to comment on things you know little about wossname

  11. If you gave Chris Moyles an enema, he could broadcast his show from inside a matchbox.

  12. Ian Laughlin 25 Mar 2009, 11:38pm

    I know this is not directly BBC/Moyles related, but if anyone has heard the broadcasts of the 24 hour “Christian” radio station Premier Radio (it used to be on Medium Wave in London but is now national via freeview and internet)then there is a shocking degree of scriptual homophobia being broadcast. Personally, I wouldn’t have any particular problem with having a Christian broadcasting station, BUT liberal Christians (Quakers, Unitarians, MCC etc) don’t seem to get a look in on Premier, and programmes aired include purchased American evangelical programmes from professional anti-gay organisations such as Focus on the Family. I have never understood why Ofcom permits such trash to be broadcast in the UK, given that rules on impartiality are quite robust.

    Sorry – off topic. Back to Moyles: there was a lengthy opinion piece in the Grauniad today about the Ofcom ruling. Its gist was that the danger is that Mr Moyles will try to ‘spin’ the ruling to make him appear somehow edgy or ‘radical’.

  13. In the BBC programme Timewatch, Ashley Pharoah, a writer on Life On Mars, expressed the opinion that racism isn’t funny but homophobia and sexism ‘still are’. This is the kind of person the BBC has writing drama.

    On Google search for “Homophobia ‘still funny’ but racism not, says BBC writer” to watch the clip.

  14. I’ve just watched that clip, gary. I can’t believe it…. Yes, it’s tempting to write a load of abuse here about the guy, but mostly I feel scared. This, obviously educated man (well, he can write anyway) draws the line at including racism in Life On Mars (and there was far more casual racism in the 70s) because it makes him ‘uncomfortable’. Homophobia and sexism don’t make him uncomfortable at all – in fact, they’re “funny”.
    This is what I mean when I say that it’s not good to say that Moyles et al were only joking. It’s not just their intent, it’s the atmosphere of acceptance of homophobic comments among the general public. Many people still think it’s absolutely fine to make a homophobic comment, but wouldn’t dream of making a racist one. This is the attitude that needs to change in my opinion.

  15. I have just posted the following letter. People may consider using it as a basic template. ACT IMMEDIATELY. Email something NOW.

    mark.thompson@bbc.co.uk

    Dear Mark Thompson,

    The BBC sacked Carol Thatcher for a remark to several people in the comparative privacy of a BBC green-room about a football player resembling a gollywog.

    Chris Moyles deliberately and intentionally lampooned and degraded the singer Will Young as being camp, effeminate, having a high-pitched voice, wearing a dress, shaving his legs, and being greatly concerned with making himself smell nice. Furthermore, Chris Moyles blatantly presented this commentary on air, into the ears of millions.

    Carol Thatcher was axed, so Chris Moyles most certainly should be too.

    It should also be borne in mind that on an earlier occasion the BBC refused to reprimand Moyles for his use of the word ‘gay’ to describe something useless. There has also been no decisive action taken against Jeremy Clarkson and DJ Spoony for their homophobic comments. The BBC has therefore been prepared to accept homophobia on the part of some of its employees.

    If Chris Moyles had mocked a Black, Asian, or Arab singer with the same degree of negativity, I have no doubt you would by now have taken decisive public action. Being gay or lesbian is no different from being Black, White, Asian, or whatever. It is a natural state. Chris Moyles clearly does not accept this. He has shown he thinks that homosexuality is a state which is fare for mockery and fun. He must be sacked.

    Yours sincerely,

  16. Oh, I’m sorry, Scot, I didn’t know I had to be a radio 1 listener before I was allowed to comment on things that directly concern me. I note you were unable to answer the main point of my comment. Shame about that. By the way, I have no more intention of listening to the drivel that passes for music these days any more than I wish to listen to the homophobic drivel of the “DJ” who fronts the show.

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